Byco Oil Pakistan Limited is building the country’s first aromatic petrochemical facility, which is expected to come online by the middle of 2013, a senior company executive said on Thursday.
The facility will produce about 100,000 tons of benzene per annum, 92,000 tons of paraxylene, 80,000 tons of isomer-grade mixed xylene and 50,000 tons of orthoxylene, said Mohammad Wasi Khan, President of Chemical Manufacturing at Byco.
“We have already relocated a plant from Italy and the facility’s construction is under way,” Khan was quoted as saying by ICIS, an online journal focusing on chemical and energy matters. Khan talked to the ICIS by telephone from Karachi.
The plant will be set up at the same site in Hub coastal area, about 50 km from Karachi, where Byco operates a 35,000-barrels-per-day refinery.
Byco is also building a 120,000-barrels-per-day refinery at the same site and expects to begin production from the unit in the fourth quarter of this year, Khan said. “The refinery is nearing completion… It should be mechanically completed by October [or] November,” he said. The new refinery will provide the naphtha feedstock needed for the aromatic facility.
Pakistan, with a burgeoning population of 180 million, is a net importer of petrochemicals and does not have a naphtha cracker or aromatic facility. Khan said the reconstruction of the plant will start in the first quarter of 2012 and it should come online by the middle of 2013. The company plans to sell 50 per cent of its products inside the country and will export the rest to Middle East, Africa and China, he added.
The first phase of Byco’s petrochemical project will cost $200 million.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2011.
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