The government is planning to upgrade Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) with an estimated cost of $ 1 billion aims at achieving self-sufficiency in the refining sector and bringing down the oil import bill.

“We have offered the Chinese government to participate in the PRL up-gradation project, and Chinese companies are interested in it,” official sources told APP.

At present, they said, around 55 percent needs of diesel and petrol were being met through the import of petroleum products in finished form, while 40 to 45 percent requirements were fulfilled by refining the crude oil at domestic facilities.

The sources said the government was encouraging establishment of new oil refineries and modernizing the existing facilities to meet the country needs indigenously.

Replying to a question, they said the government was working on a multi-faceted strategy to achieve self-sufficiency in the crude oil refining sector. “Currently, as many as six projects, investment initiatives and proposals in oil refining sector are in pipeline and at different stages to purify around 1.110 million Barrel per Day (BPD) oil.”

Sharing details, the sources said under the strategy an oil refinery and petrochemical complex of 300,000 BPD oil capacity would be set up at Gwadar, Balochistan; PARCO would install 250,000 BPD Coastal Refinery at Hub, Balochistan; SINO Infrastructure Hong Kong Oriental Times Corporation Ltd (SIOT) would establish 250,000 BPD Gwadar Refining & Industrial Park, Upcountry Deep Conversion Refinery and Crude Pipeline of 250,000-300,000 BPD oil would be set up in collaboration with Pakistan State Oil and Power China International Group, Falcon Oil Private Limited to set up 40,000 BPD oil refining facility at Dera Ismail Khan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Khyber Refinery Limited would establish the facility to purify 20,000 BPD oil in Kohat.

Answering a question, they said at present eight oil refineries including Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL), National Refinery Limited (NRL), Pak¬Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO), Attock Refinery Limited (ARL), Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BPPL¬I), Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BPPL¬II), Enar Petroleum Refining Facility (ENAR¬I) and Enar Petroleum Refining Facility (ENAR-II) were operating in the country.