CCOE approves Oil Refinery Policy to pave way for $5-6b investment

UPGRADATION OF EXISTING/BROWNFIELD REFINERIES

ISLAMABAD  -  The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) has approved Oil Refinery Policy, for upgradation of existing/brownfield refineries, which will pave the way for the investment of $5-6 billion in the country. Energy sector is the backbone of any econ­omy, more so in case of Pakistan but unfortunately the core challenges we face today in the realm of economy stem from ill planning and misman­agement of the energy sector, said Oil Companies Advisory Committee here.

The Oil Refineries Policy for upgrada­tion of existing/brownfield refineries with some amendments was approved by Cabinet Committee on Energy. The badly needed refinery policy took more than four years in the making and final approval was delayed on one pretext or another, said chairman OCAC Adil Khat­tak here. The Policy was notified on August 17, 2023 but unfortunately had some anomalies which were not ac­ceptable to the refineries. After intense and prolonged consultation between the government, refineries, indepen­dent financial and legal advisory firms, the Policy was appropriately amended and approved by Cabinet Committee on Energy in a meeting held yesterday chaired by Minister of Energy Muham­mad Ali. The last step needed now is its approval and ratification by the Cabinet which we hope would be done in the next few days. The policy will enable the oil refineries to undertake major upgradation projects to not only com­ply with Euro - V specifications but also increase production of deficit products of petrol and diesel by 99% and 47% respectively and also reduce produc­tion of furnace oil by 78%, which be­cause of drastically reduced demand in recent years often results in storage constraints forcing the refineries to re­duce capacity utilisation. He said that the refineries upgradation will bring in investment of US $ 5 - 6 billion and not only result in cleaner environment friendly fuels but also major savings of precious foreign exchange. The Refiner­ies Upgradation Policy would surely be termed as the most important achieve­ment of the caretaker government and it is hoped that it would be implement­ed in it’s true letter and spirit.

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