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Oil Refining in Pakistan.

The refining worldwide continue to remain depressed, as demand for products is less than production capacities. As a result a number of refineries in Singapore and Europe have already started operating at lower capacities. There are four refineries namely Attock, National, Pakistan and Dhodak Refineries are in production. The existing capacity of these refineries were 6.67 million tonnes per annum during the year 1999 as compared to 6.52 million tonnes per annum during the year 1998, while the production of the PARCO mid-country refinery is expected later this year.

Production of Refineries

The production of energy and non-energy products and total crude processed (both local and imported) by Attock Refinery, National Refinery, Pakistan Refinery and Dhodak Refinery are given in table-1

Crude Proceed

The four refineries processed 6,519,240 tonnes of crude during the year 1998-99 of which National Refinery processed 2,892,766 tonnes, Pakistan Refinery 2,264,521 tonnes, Attock Refinery 1,258,066 tonnes and Dhodak Refinery 103,887 tonnes of crude. While during the same period of last year (1997-98) these refineries have processed 6,444,521 tonnes of which NRL processed 2,902,630 tonnes, PRL 2,394,233, tonnes A RL 1,089,751 tonnes and DRL processed 102,907 tonnes of crude. The annual growth rate of crude processed during year 1998-99 was 1.16% as compared to 4.48% during the same period of last year.

Pakistan Refinery Limited

The first large oil refinery of Pakistan located at Korangi Industrial Zone was incorporated on May 10, 1960 and started the commercial production on October 20, 1962. The authorized capital of Pakistan Refinery Limited is Rs.1000.00 million divided into ordinary shares of Rs.10 each against which the paid-up capital stood at Rs.200.00 million. PRL was listed on Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) in 1960. The sales of PRL were Rs.12,696.28 million during the year 1998-99 as compared to Rs.15,294.82 million.

During the year 1997-98 showing a decline of Rs.259,854 million over the last fiscal year, The company's earning per share was Rs.2.50 during the last budgetary year while it was Rs.2.30 per share in the year 1997-98. The Break-up Value of PRL per share was Rs.13.18 in 1997-98 and remained same during the next fiscal year. The company has awarded Rs.2.30 dividend to the share holders in 1997-98 while in 1998-99 the dividend announced by the company was Rs.2.50 per share: The Pre-tax Profit of PRL stood at Rs.81,809 million as compared to Rs.93,947 million during the year 1997-98. The profit after tax was Rs.20 million in 1997-98 and remained the same during the last fiscal year.

The PRL's productions of energy and non-energy products was Rs.2,235,394 tonnes in the year 1998-99 as compared to 2,302,766 tonnes during the year 1997-98. The energy products include Motor Spirit, Kerosene, HOBC, HSD, FO, Aviation Fuel and LPG, while the non-energy products produced by the PRL was only MTT. The energy products produced during the year 1998-99 was 2,233,617 tonnes as compared to 2,301,025 tonnes, during the year 1997-98, while the production of non-energy products were 1,777 tonnes in 1998-99 and 1,741 tonnes in the year 1997-98. The PRL as processed 2,264,521 tonnes of crude oil of which 393,999 tonnes was local crude and 1,870,522 tonnes was imported. While in 1997-98 the PRL has processed 2,320,317 tonnes of crude oil of which 592.201 tonnes was local and 1,757,032 tonnes was imported.

The throughput achieved during the year 1998-99 was 2.265 million tons of crude oil compared to 2.349 million tons in year 1997-98. The decline is due the reason that the refinery was shut down for planned maintenance for 25 days. The shut down took place after the 31 months continuous operation, which is the longest period in history of PRL. The weak product prices have resulted in the refinery making a loss after tax of Rs.663.5 million from its, refinery operations. As a result of that GOP has to reimburse Rs.695.9 million (1997-98 Rs.548.7 million) to the refinery in terms of the import parity pricing formula to enable the company to make a 10% profit on its paid-up capital from its refinery operation.

National Refinery Limited

The second of the three refineries in the country is also located in the Korangi Industrial Zone, Karachi. The National Refinery Limited was incorporated on August 19, 1963 and came on stream on August 27, 1996, while the NRL listed on Karachi Stock Exchange in the year 1964. The company's production of energy products was 2,423,914 tonnes during the year 1998-99 as compared to 2,485,508 tonnes during the year 1997-98. The production of energy products includes Motor Spirit, Kerosene, HOBC, HSD, LDO, F, Aviation Fuel, Naphtha and LPG, while non-energy products comprises on JBO, Lube Oil, Asphalt, Process Oil, Solvent Oil, Carbon Oil, BTX and Wax. The NRL has processed 2,982,766 tonnes of crude oil during the year 1998-99 while in the year 1997-98 it was 2,902,630 tonnes showing a decline of -0.5%. The total local crude oil processed was 366,671 tonnes and 2,526,095 tonnes of imported crude oil during the year 1998-99, while in the year 1997-98 the local crude oil processed was 632,674 tonnes and the imported crude oil processed was 2,269,956 tonnes. The company shares crude oil import with Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL). Under this arrangements crude oil delivered to PRL amounted to Rs.8,899,425 million.

The installation of the self-power generation plant of 7.5 MW electricity under the World Bank financing arrangements has been completed and commissioning activity is in progress. So far the claims of Siemens have been settled and allocation of foreign currency has been received from Government of Pakistan. The turbo generator would be in operation by the end of the current financial year. The installation of three 140 ft.dia. Crude storage tanks having total capacity of 45,000 m. tons is under final stage of construction and expected to be completed by the end of March 2000.

Attock Refinery Limited

The company was, incorporated on November 8,1978 as a private limited company to take over the assets and liabilities of Attock Oil Co. Ltd. and converted into a public limited company on June 26,1979 and ARL listed on Karachi Stock Exchange in 1980. The authorized capital of ARL is Rs.350 million divided into ordinary share of Rs.10 each against the paid-up capital Rs.270 million of which 35% shares are held by the GOP, 54.87% by the seven Joint Stock Companies, 9.15% by the two investment companies, 0.13% by the two insurance companies and 0.85% by 393 individuals. ARL is entitled to a minimum of 10% and maximum of 40% (net of tax) return on its paid-up capital and allowed to retain any surplus profits over 40% for refinery upgradation and expansion.

The sales during the year ending June 30 1999 stood at Rs.7,181,586 millions while in the same period of 1997-98 the sales was Rs.6,485,995 million showing an increase of Rs.695.591 million in the year 1998-99. The earning per share was Rs.1.55 in the year 1998-99 as compared to Rs.4.08 during the year 1997-98. During the year 1998-99, the ARL profitability was seriously affected by the continuous decline in the prices of petroleum products in the international market. Consequently, there was a shortfall of Rs.458 million receivable from the Government under the approved import parity pricing formula to make-up the profit of Rs.27 million being minimum net of tax, return of 10% on paid-up capital. In addition, the company has also earned other income of Rs.14.7 million (net of tax and workers' 'fund) from non-refinery operations outside the pricing formula.

The designed annual refining capacity was enhanced to 11,550,000 tonnes US barrels from 10,065,000 tonnes US barrels after the commissioning of new Heavy Crude Unit in May 1999. The actual throughput during the year 1998-99 was 9,680,912 US barrels as compared to 8,248,779 US barrels during the year 1997-98. The production of energy and non-energy products were 1,239,951 tonnes during the year 1998-99 as compared to 1,067,374 tonnes during the year 1997-98 showing an increase of 2.2%. The energy products produced by ARL during the last fiscal year includes Motor Spirit, Kerosene, HSD, LDO, PO, Aviation Fuel and LPG and the total production of these products were 1,163,054 tonnes as compared to 969,092 tonnes during the year 1997-98 showing an increase of 2.1% in the production in last budgetary year, while the non energy products comprises on Asphalt, Solvent Oil, MTT, JBO and Grease were 76,897 tonnes as compared to 98,282 tonnes in the year 1997-98 showing an increase of 4% in the production of non-energy products.

The ARL processed 1258,066 tonnes of crude oil during the year 1998-99 which was all local as there was no imported crude oil processed by the Attock Refinery compared to 1,089,751 tonnes of all local crude processed during 1997-98.

The work on the implementation of the US$55 million Refinery Upgradation and Expansion project, initiated in 1997, which included setting up a Catalytic Reformer Plant and Heavy Crude Unit was completed and commissioned in last May/June 1999. The plant operations have stabilised and are on-stream production. With the commissioning of Catalytic Reformer/Naphtha Hydrotreating Unit, the ARL commenced the production of 87 RON premium Motor Gasoline and thus become the first refinery in Pakistan to achieve this landmark. To increase its profitability, the company also continued with its endeavours to improve the products slate to increase the production of high value products and consequently the refinery's margin. This included enhancement of production of Jet Fuels and introduction of special asphalt. Simultaneously, the development of facilities which included two new naphtha tanks, cooling tower, flare system, pumps and piping for tie-in connections for new plants and centralized air system has been completed to allow smooth commissioning of new plants. This included the acquisition of a 40 M. Tons mobile crane to facilitate maintenance work on the new plants and to cater for other operational requirements.

To ensure 100% reliability for continued electricity supplies to the refinery and more particularly to the new Catalytic Reformer Unit, the Company had signed a contract for the supply and setting-up of 7.5 MW capacity integrated power plant. This project is estimated to cost around Rs.250 million and is likely to be completed in November 2000. Future plans include further expansion of the refinery, upgradation of existing facilities products slate improvement, oil movement logistics and setting-up a remote crude decanting facility to overcome traffic congestion in the refinery area and eliminate safety/security hazards due to crude bowsers.

UP-Coming Refineries

Pakistan is setting up four more oil refineries to increase its refining capacity by 25 million tonnes annually. These units to be set up at Karachi, Multan and Badin, in the southern region, to refine locally produced and imported crude oil. Two memorandums of understanding (MoU) have been signed with Oman and South Korea to set up refineries at Badin and Karachi. The Badin project is to be built with the collaboration of South Korea's Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. under the MoU signed in Soul in Sept. 1994.

Parco Mid-Country Refinery

The construction of mid country refinery project of Pak-Arab at Mahmood Kot near Multan is proceeding at a fairly fast speed. The 100.000-barrel per day refinery being constructed by well-known constructors M/s. Japan Gasoline Corporation (JGC) and Marubeni at a cost of US$886 million is scheduled to be on stream by September 2000. The Civil-Mechanical construction and erection activities are progressing slightly ahead of schedule. Construction material, refinery plant and equipment have started arriving at the refinery site and 37 shipments have already been cleared at Karachi Port for onward transportation. Civil construction work for providing accommodation and related facilities are also progressing simultaneously.

Parco Mid-Country refinery will be one of the biggest refinery in Pakistan. It will result substantial foreign exchange savings of around $100 million per year for the country and will achieve significant economies in streaming transportation of petroleum products up-country.

Pak-Arab refinery Ltd. (PARCO), a joint venture between the Government of Pakistan and that OF UAE, has emerged as a tremendous commercial success as it has accumulated respectable reserves which have enabled it to simultaneously undertaken these two projects of US$1.0 billion outlay through self-financing.

The Mid-Country Refinery will be designed and implemented as a fully integrated refinery, having both Primary and Secondary facilities to maximize the production of value added and deficit products. The selected refinery-processing Scheme is based on the State of the art technology available and shall be able to meet the prevalent international environment standards since the refinery will be adequately equipped to produce for the first time in the country un-leaded gasoline and low sulphur diesel.

Pak-Iran Refinery Project

The Iran-Pak Refinery Project, Pakistan's largest refining complex envisaged in a joint venture between the State Petroleum and Petro-Chemical Refinery Corporation (PERAC) and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has been finally put priority development project list and allocated Rs.250 million in the current budgetary year. The sponsors of the $1.15 billion refinery complex have also appointed the Pak-Libya Holding company as fund manager. The agreement has lately been signed to this effect. National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), has also released $8.10 million as a token of its equity in the project.

The Iranian-Pak Refinery Ltd. (IPRL) remained lifeless after its approval by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in September last year. The project had already remained a controversial subject among the various federal ministries mainly because of the proposed 25% guaranteed rate of return on equity (RoE) to the sponsors.

Recently several meetings had been held among the two sponsoring agencies and the senior officials of the Ministry of Production and Industries. The Iranian government has, as aback-up arrangement, also advised its ambassador in Islamabad to keep in touch with the authorities to ensure completion of the project on fast track. Located at Khalifa point, about 45 km northwest of Karachi, the refinery with six million tonnes annual capacity will cost $1.15 billion raised on 70-30 debt equity basis. NIOC and Perac will hold 50% share each of the equity. Experts say the cost of the project could come down substantially as of now revolutionary modifications have taken place in the design and engineering of the refinery project.

The refinery would be fed with Iranian heavy crude, proposed to be received through a floating port. The single point mooring (SPM or floating port) is a by-project of the refinery, but could also cater for the country's oil handling needs on its own. Other crucial stage of the projects would be re-signing of the agreement between the two countries. Earlier, in 1996 the two countries had signed an elaborate agreement without the provision of guaranteed RoE. Now the guaranteed return has to be embodied formally in the agreement.

The Pak-Iran refinery project was put on the back burner, as the Government of Pakistan was reluctant to provide 25 % project guarantees. The MoU on the project was signed in 1995 and the project was to start in 1996. However, since the new petroleum policy was on the anvil, Pakistan informed Iran that it would consider the question of launching of the project after the announcement of its petroleum policy. The policy was announced in October 1997 in which the government of Pakistan withdrew 25 % of the guaranteed for the project. This development put the agreement in a predicament.

The Government of Iran felt that it could not participate as long as Pakistan did not provide the requisite guarantee. The Balochistan chief minister and the chief secretary took up this case on top priority as this project will help to boost the revenue generation of Balochistan and bring new job opportunities for local people. In the last meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee held on March 3,1998, chief secretary, Balochistan, Syed Shahid Hussain, pursued the matter very enthusiastically. He cited the example of PARCO at Multan for which the government had provided a guarantee but in the case of the Pak-Iran refinery was reluctant to do so. The Government has allowed 25% guaranteed return on the paid-up capital net of taxes. Each side would provide $138 million in equity. Debt financing was $8.30 million.

Gulf-Pakistan Refinery

International Islamic Development Trust (IIDT) would provide 70 per cent funding at no interest cost for a $2 billion Petrochemical Complex near Port Qasim. Beside Gulf-Pak Refinery Prince Sultan Bin Turki of Saudi Arabia and Haji Mohammad Affandi Bin Mohammad of Malaysia are in the partner of 30 per cent equity. Production capacity of the plant is 200,000 barrels per day (bpd). The project, which is expected to create employment opportunities for 4,000 persons, would be located at Dhabeji and (Fauji Oil Terminal and Distribution CO Limited) FOTCO at Port Qasim. The management of the project has acquired 2,200 acres of land.

It is estimated that direct and indirect taxation from the project would amount to Rs.4.2 billion per annum in addition to saving of foreign exchange resources. Funding has been released by International Islamic Development Trust (IIDT) at no interest cost, based on the Islamic mode of financing. The contract for the front--end engineering designing (FEED) service has been negotiated with AMEC of UK.

The project management has not sought the guaranteed rate of return (GRR) from the government, as accorded to PARCO oil Refinery project and Iran Pak-Refinery project. The complex would have a floating Jetties and independent power generation unit. The company representatives further stated that the project would be completed in 18 months period.

Badin Refinery

The cost of the refinery has been estimated at around 90 million dollars and the Korean company is reported to be ready to finance 70 per cent of the cost. For the local component, various companies, including Fecto Group of Companies are interested in financing according to sources. Besides, Mitsubishi of Japan, has also shown willingness to be a financier for the project.

The Badin oil-field crude has very low content of sulphur, which would help the refinery to bring out high quality products which have low demand locally whereas the world markets offer good prices for them. Nevertheless, the refinery would be designed to produce 60 to 70 per cent furnace oil for local consumption. Regarding viability of the project, was being set up under petroleum policy of 1997 in which the guaranteed rate of return had been withdrawn which was provided for in the earlier (1994-95) policy.

By virtue of the proposed site of the refinery, the project has become extremely attractive, as it would offer 70 to 75 per cent return on equity because no transportation would be involved in the project. Under the 1994 policy, the government had guaranteed 25 per cent rate of return.

Earlier a US company, which was an operator of the field, had offered to set up a second-hand plant of the refinery, based on the notion that the field production would deplete fast and the recovery rate of crude would also drop. Repugnant to this, the field is producing an increased quantity of crude e.g. 30,000 barrels per day, and is expected to last longer than estimated earlier. In addition to Badin field crude, the refinery would also be fed with the 10,000 barrels crude from the adjacent fields of Oil and Gas Development Corporation.

PS O-Hyundai Refinery

According to the latest report, the commercial and economic viability of 1.1 billion dollar PSO-Hyundai Oil Refinery has been held economically negative, and the project may be shelved for good. The refinery, has a proposed capacity of 4.8 million tonnes. First year will yield a negative net impact of about $600 million, bringing practically no benefit to the government during its maiden eight years of operation. According to reports, a detailed study carried out on the proposed project suggested that the refinery was likely to generate an aggregate benefit to Pakistan over the whole of the project's 30 years operating life. Nevertheless, it would give profitable results over the first eight years, when the mark-up margin would be distributed. Thus, the study had strong reservations about the merits of the government support that would be necessary for the viability of the project.

Earlier a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Pakistan State Oil Co. Ltd and Hyundai Korea was signed to launch the project at the earliest. At present Pakistan has no facility to refine Sindh's waxy crude. The configuration would have generated products like high-ocane gasoline, which Pakistan does not require at present, whereas fuel oil, which the country desperately needs, would not be produced. A complete reconfiguration to a less capital-intensive project, which can produce fuel oil as by-product, is required at this time. The government had planned to use an additional nearly $500 million mark-up margin to strengthen the project's commercial viability. It has been recommended by consultants that it would be inappropriate for the government to use the mark-up margin for the purpose. If the proposed refinery is not restructured completely, it would be of no benefit to the government, thereby not adding value to the economy as a whole.
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Author:Baloch, Ahsan Khan
Publication:Economic Review
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 1, 2000
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