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March 31, 2020

Byco’s refining complex put on ‘Cold Circulation’

Business

March 31, 2020

KARACHI: Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited has been constrained to put its refinery on cold circulation, due to absence of demand for petroleum products, a statement said.

The step has been taken to reduce the current glut and create adequate space for locally produced crude and condensate, as the consumption of POL products has fallen drastically subsequent to the announcement of lockdowns across provinces to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, it said.

“Byco chose not to fully shut down the refining complex so that crude refining operations can be restarted in a matter of hours should the demand pick up again,” the statement said. Appreciating the Ministry of Energy’s proactive steps, the company said it supported that government’s stance to prioritise the consumption of domestic crude oil and condensate to keep the domestic refineries operating, and minimise the import of POL products.

Byco Petroleum Pakistan Vice President of Commercial said, “We anticipate that demand will pick up soon so that we can quickly resume production at Byco.”

The country's refining industry stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the nation to persevere against the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We pray and trust that Pakistan will emerge stronger subsequent to successfully countering the pandemic,” he added.

The Ministry of Energy recently advised OMCs to cancel their imports of petroleum products with effect from April 1, 2020 to support Pakistan’s domestic refining industry and exploration and production sector, through an official order.

Pakistan’s domestic oil refiners including Byco, Attock Refiner, National Refinery, Pakistan Refinery, and Parco have been deemed essential services by the Ministry of Energy Petroleum Division through a recent order.

The Ministry notified law enforcement agencies that all of the nation’s refiners should be allowed to continue to provide an uninterrupted flow of fuel throughout Pakistan. The ministry further guaranteed free movement for the industry’s employees, vendors, and contractors to ensure availability of petroleum products at all petrol pumps across the country, in the midst of the nationwide lockdown.