Pakistan Refinery seeks used complex to upgrade operations

Pakistan Refinery Ltd (PRL) is looking to buy a second-hand refinery complex to upgrade its operations and increase output to help meet rising demand for petroleum products as the country emerges from a pandemic-driven slump.

The South Asian country currently has five refineries with a total capacity of 417,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to Pakistan’s 2020 economic survey, the largest of which stands at 150,000 bpd.

If the purchase goes ahead PRL could double its capacity to 100,000 bpd. The company this week sought offers to purchase a second-hand refinery complex for relocation to Pakistan, according to an advertisement placed in international media.

It said it was undertaking an upgrade and potential expansion project to produce Euro V specification and high speed diesel oil. For this purpose, it intends to purchase a pre-owned refinery complex with one or more conversion units, which should have a 50,000 to 100,000 bpd throughput design.

Offers from interested bidders have been invited with a closing date of April 23.

Pakistan’s total refining capacity is 19.37 million tonnes per year, according to the Economic Survey, while the country consumes 19.68 million tonnes of petroleum products annually.

The government says refinery capacity is not being fully utilised on account of financial as well as technical problems, and is supplying only 11.59 million tonnes per year, with the rest of the country’s needs imported.

The finance ministry, in a report last month, said that import volume of petroleum crude increased by 13.8 per cent in the first eight months of the 2020-21. Import volumes of petroleum products increased by 27.7pc in the same 2020.

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