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Byco puts refinery on ‘cold circulation’

National

April 8, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited, Pakistan’s largest oil refinery by design and installed capacity, has been constrained to put its refinery on “cold circulation”, due to absence of demand for POL products, said Fayaz Ahmad Khan, Vice President of Commercial at Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited in a statement issued from Karachi on Tuesday.

He said that consumption of POL products in the nation have fallen drastically subsequent to the announcement of lockdowns across provinces to deal with the coronavirus pandemic which is spreading not only across Pakistan but globally.

“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. “Byco appreciates the Ministry of Energy’s proactive steps, and supports the GoP’s stance of prioritising consumption of domestic crude oil and condensate, keeping domestic refineries operating, and minimising import of POL products.” Byco is hopeful that OMC’s will act upon the MoE’s directive for oil marketing companies to stop importing the POL products and increase off-take of petroleum products from domestic refineries. 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 said.

Ministry of Energy recently advised OMC’s to cancel their imports of petroleum products with effect from 1st April, 2020 to support Pakistan’s domestic refining industry and E&P sector, through an official order.

Pakistan’s domestic oil refiners including Byco, ARL, NRL, PRL, and Parco have been deemed essential services by the Ministry of Energy (MoE)’s Petroleum Division through a recent order.

Ministry notified law enforcement agencies that all of the nation’s refiners must 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.

Byco lauds the MoE’s steps to direct law enforcement agencies to facilitate the unhindered movement of refineries and OMC’s, including their employees, subcontractors/vendors, and vehicles so that an uninterrupted supply of petroleum products in the country can be maintained.