Pakistan’s largest refinery to resume production this week

Published: August 1, 2017
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An oil refinery. PHOTO: AFP

An oil refinery. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan’s largest oil refinery, which had caught fire two years ago shortly after inauguration and had been staying closed since then, is set to resume production later this week.

Byco Petroleum Limited, in a notification to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), said on Monday “the company will resume production at its 120,000-barrel-per-day refinery.” The refinery would start and supply products to the market by August 5, it said.

Byco companies merge to become single entity

Byco is a listed company at the PSX. The announcement during an intra-day bull-run helped its share price rise around 3% to Rs20.73 with trading in 8.26 million shares.

The refinery, located at Hub, Balochistan, had caught fire just three months after its inauguration in 2015. Crude oil heater was said to be the cause of the fire.

Byco Secretary Majid Muqtadir said in the notification “new crude charge heater/ furnace…is much better in efficiency and equipped with modern safety and security controls.”

“Pre-commissioning and commissioning activities of the plant are in progress and utilities and offsite facilities have already been commissioned,” he said.

The refinery has been reconstructed at an estimated cost of around Rs2 billion, it was learnt. It will produce diesel, furnace oil, motor gasoline, jet fuel JP-1, kerosene oil and light diesel oil.

The addition would take oil production by the company to 155,000 barrels per day.

“The new refinery is an expansion of the existing facility of 35,000 barrels per day,” Byco Petroleum Vice President Commercial Asad Azhar Siddiqui told The Express Tribune.

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“Byco would be meeting 40% of the total petroleum product demand that stands at 26 million tons per annum in Pakistan,” he said.

Siddiqui said his company had been supplying petroleum products to almost all the oil marketing companies, including state-owed Pakistan State Oil and private-run Shell Pakistan and Hascol.

The integrated company also operates an oil marketing company (OMC) with over 260 retail outlets across the country. At present, the OMC stands at the sixth or seventh position in the country.

“With the help of the largest refinery’s production, we may also become the fifth largest oil marketing company in the next 5-6 months,” he said.

The firm imports crude oil through the Single Point Mooring (SPM) facility, a floating jetty connected with storage tanks with a 15km-long pipeline, which allows ships to take and offload oil without coming to the shore.

The facility may help the company to win the market smoothly as ports are getting congested with increased demand, especially for oil due to low prices and smart recovery of the national economy.

Pakistan meets 75% of its oil needs through imports of crude and refined products.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2017.

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