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Wednesday July 24, 2024

PM’s upcoming visit to Beijing: Pakistan, China may sign MoU on refinery

Pakistan authorities, the official said, are in touch with the Sinopec management for the said project

By Khalid Mustafa
May 17, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. —AFP/File
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. —AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China may sign an MoU for cooperation on crude-to-petrochemical refinery during the visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Beijing next month.

“During the visit of the premier, both the governments are expected to sign an MoU on the crude- to-petrochemical refinery project,” a senior official of the Energy Ministry told The News.

“Pakistan State Oil, Sinopec, a Chinese company, and Saudi Aramco may agree to carry out the joint study to assess whether the crude-to-petrochemical refinery will be economical and beneficial for the said three stakeholders or not. The joint study’s results will pave the way for investment in the proposed project. Once the joint study is over, then the size and capacity of the project will be decided.”

Pakistan authorities, the official said, are in touch with the Sinopec management for the said project. Saudi Aramco is also inclined towards the petrochemical refinery instead of the green refinery depending upon what the joint study tells once it is initiated and completed. “After that Sinopec and Saudi Aramco will decide if they should be a part of petrochemical refinery or not.”

The KSA also wants the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to be awarded to Sinopec and to this effect, the Pakistan State Oil, nominated by the Government of Pakistan, is in contact with the Bank of China and Sinopec.

Sinopec is also providing services to Saudi Arabia on rigs, well-service, geophysical exploration, pipelines, roads and bridges and other EPC projects. Sinopec has been serving Aramco, SWCC, RC, and many Saudi local cities, and has earned a good reputation among clients, as well as Saudi people.

The under-consideration proposal is that a crude-petrochemical refinery be built with 70 percent capacity to refine petroleum products and 30 percent capacity to produce chemical products.