Chinese firm visits Gwadar to materialise $4.5b oil refinery project

ISLAMABAD            -         In order to materialise the $4.5 b oil refinery project in Gwadar, five-member delegation of Chinese Company ‘East Sea Group Limited (ESGL)’ is visiting Gwadar, Gwadar Pro reported on Tuesday. ESGL official Jason Zhou said that ESGL chief engineer Liu along with other officials will be in Gwadar from December 20. The delegation consisting of technical team with marine engineering, commerce and petroleum professional background will be headed by Group’s General Manager Fang Haixia. Delegation will stay for three or four days in an effort to tune in conceptual and practical frameworks. They will hold meetings with leadership of China Overseas Ports Holding Company and Gwadar Port Authority to review the proposed site for the establishment of oil refinery in Gwadar Free Zone phase II. As per initial plan, ESGL will install 5 million tons capacity oil refinery in Gwadar. Later ESGL will upgrade it with annual oil processing capacity of 8 million tons in Gwadar. China Overseas Port Hold Company (COPHCO and ESGL have already mutually developed understanding to make things happen at Gwadar Free Zone phase II. East Sea Group Limited (ESGL) is a diversified multinational company, mainly engaged in energy trade, energy storage logistics and oil refining, and has invested in many countries such as South America, the Middle East and Indonesia. Chinese entry came at a time when uncertainty was brewing about fate of oil refinery in Gwadar after international players dragged their feet and went indecisive on the offer of establishing oil refinery in Gwadar. And following Chinese move, many international firms have signaled for interest afresh to develop oil refinery in Gwadar. Sources in GPA told Gwadar Pro that oil refinery project will be constructed in two phases. The first phase will have an annual refining capacity of 5 million tons. East Sea Group will place at least six crude oil trans-shipment vessels totalling 2 million tons at Gwadar Port in Pakistan every month, starting from and supporting its own oil source business, and will also provide oil trans-shipment and trans-shipment services for major Middle East oil producing countries. According to sources in Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division), the refinery will provide a substantial storage capacity to Pakistan, enabling it to maintain reserves for longer time and save foreign exchange. The multi-billion dollar project, upon implementation will provide an impetus to further investment in the petrochemical industry in Gwadar. In order to greenlight the mega project by government of Pakistan, concerned institutions are gearing up to scrutinise the detailed business plan and feasibility study for further processing.

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