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Thursday February 29, 2024

PRL inks first refinery upgrade deal under new policy

November 17, 2023
Pure Point, the vessel in which Russian oil reached Pakistan, can be seen anchored at a dock in Karachi, on July 12, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — Twitter/@Roohan_Ahmed
Pure Point, the vessel in which Russian oil reached Pakistan, can be seen anchored at a dock in Karachi, on July 12, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — Twitter/@Roohan_Ahmed

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) signed an agreement with the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Thursday to upgrade its facilities and produce Euro-V-compliant fuels, a key step in the country’s refining policy.

The agreement, which was finalised after extensive consultations with stakeholders, is the first of its kind under the Brownfield Refinery Policy, a strategic framework to modernise existing refineries and reduce the import burden of oil products.

"After a marathon of meetings, consultations, and deliberations with the stakeholders, the agreement was finalised, and by the grace of Almighty Allah, we have signed the first one with PRL," Masroor Khan, OGRA chairman said.

The Brownfield Refinery Policy mandated these agreements to enable existing refineries to progress their projects toward the production of Euro-V-compliant fuels. The implementation of the policy is poised to bring about positive transformations within the oil sector of Pakistan.

Khan said the upgrade projects under the policy were of paramount national importance and would contribute to the production of environmentally friendly fuels.

"This agreement with PRL signifies the initiation of a series of strategic partnerships to enhance our refining capabilities and contribute to the production of environmentally friendly fuels," he added.

“It is pertinent to mention that with the implementation of this policy, the local production of Euro 5 compliant Mogas and Diesel will increase, which will reduce the burden of import and will save Foreign exchange.”

The PRL said it has emphatically pledged its commitment to national progress by steadfastly adhering to the mandatory provisions outlined in the Pakistan Oil Refining Policy for Upgradation of Existing/Brownfield Refineries, 2023.

"In a swift response to regulatory mandates, PRL has successfully executed the Upgrade Agreement with OGRA within the stipulated three-month window under the policy, detailing key commitments, project milestones, and intricate project specifics," the company said in a statement.

As per the government-approved policy, refiners were mandated to conclude agreements with the regulator by the cutoff date of November 16, 2023.

Zahid Mir, the managing director and CEO of PRL said the company stands at the forefront of the industry's evolution, seamlessly aligning with the directives of the policy. "Our prompt execution of this agreement signals our unwavering dedication to catalyzing the modernization and efficiency of Pakistan's refining sector."

OGRA chied said the mandatory stipulations in the Pakistan Oil Refining Policy are strategically designed to act as a catalyst for the metamorphosis of brownfield refineries. "OGRA is pleased to oversee and support PRL in meeting and exceeding these obligations, thereby contributing significantly to the sustainable development of Pakistan's oil and gas sector."