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Chinese firm keen to set up $2b oil refinery in Sindh

KARACHI  : Pakistan is expected to slash its spending on import of petroleum products as a Chinese company has shown keen interest in setting up a huge oil refinery with an investment of $2 billion in Sindh.
“The refinery will have an installed capacity to process 10 million tons crude oil annually,” said a handout from the Sindh government.
China’s Mingyuan Holdings Group Company Limited Chairman Ji Hong Shui, who led an 11-member delegation, met Sindh Board of Investment (SBI) chairperson Naheed Memon and her team at SBI on Friday.
He said refined petroleum products will cater to the domestic market’s requirements and be exported from Pakistan as well.
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Memon told The Express Tribune that the Chinese company is very keen to invest here. Initially, it has expressed interest to acquire 400-500 acres of land in Sindh to set up the refinery, she added.
“It will submit 1-2 pages’ brief business model to the SBI in two to four days,” she said.
Most probably, the firm will want to establish the refinery at around Port Qasim or it may also consider setting it up at Dhabeji, Gharo, Nooriabad, Thatta or Kotri.
She said the investor also discussed establishing and/or catering companies for the oil industry in upstream and downstream activities.
“It has inquired for tax incentives, but I have made no commitments,” she said, adding SBI would try its best to facilitate the investor.
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“It was the very first meeting,” she said. “Details about the project are yet to come up.”
The firm may consider establishing the refinery at a special economic zone to acquire tax incentives, she added.
The 1-2 pages’ brief business model would explain as to how much crude oil it would import and/or acquire from local exploration companies. It would also state as to how much refined petroleum products it intends to sell in the local markets and export markets; how much water, electricity, gas and other utilities it would require to run the refinery; what will be the actual size of investment; and how much employment it would need.
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She said it was a private holding group company of China. However, it has nothing to do with China’s multibillion dollars ($54 billion) investment project in Pakistan – the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, she added.
Pakistan is a net oil importing country. It meets 75 per cent need for oil for transport, electricity production and industrial and commercial use through import of petroleum products. Remaining need is met through local oil exploration where refineries play a very important role in catering to the domestic markets’ needs.