- Says its details cannot be shared at the moment, pitches Pakistan as 'investment-friendly' country
Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik on Thursday said that an investment of $10 billion in the refinery sector will come ‘very soon’ in Pakistan.
“Very soon, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will inaugurate a $10 billion investment, the details of which cannot be shared at the moment,” said Malik, while addressing a ceremony.
The remarks come after the incumbent government approved a new refinery policy, which aims at incentivizing greenfield investment.
“Looking at our population, we need a GDP growth of 5% on a sustainable basis. To achieve this growth we require 7.5-10% growth in the energy sector every year,” he maintained.
The minister said the government would ink a comprehensive energy agreement, with countries including Central Asian states and Russia.
“The comprehensive energy security agreement will be presented to the public by the end of this year.
“Secondly, we also want to utilize our historic ties with the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries and reshape them into trade and commerce. We want to meet our energy needs including LNG and petroleum products from these countries,” he said.
Malik said the government intends to open energy corridors with Central Asia, and another with the GCC countries.
The state minister said that the purchase of crude from Russia is a “steel mill moment”, which will change the shape of Pakistan.
“Cheap energy would lead to industrial proliferation in the country. We want to establish small industrial areas in our rural regions for value addition,” the minister said.
Malik said there are many countries that cannot afford to have certain kinds of industries because their factor input cost-labour cost has increased exponentially.
“We would like to present Pakistan as a country that has the infrastructure, labour force and technology,” he said.
Talking to media persons, the minister said that the government is enhancing its enforcement on border areas to curb oil smuggling from Iran. “In the coming days the flow of smuggled oil will reduce,” he said.
On Wednesday, Malik during an off-camera meeting with media persons announced that the vessels carrying 0.1 million tons of discounted Russian oil will arrive at Pakistan’s ports in the first week of June and is part of the energy security plan of the government.
“Russian cargo carrying 100,000 tons Urals will reach Oman port on May 26-27 where oil in small vessels will be transported to Pakistan in seven to 10 days,” the minister said. The transportation will cost more but not by much, he assured.