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Print Print 2024-02-25

Amended oil refinery policy notified

  • Refineries’ upgradation will bring in an investment of US $5-6 billion and not only result in cleaner environment-friendly fuels but also major savings of precious foreign exchange
Published February 25, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) has notified the amended oil refining policy after its approval by the Cabinet on February 15, 2024, as recommended by the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) in its meeting of February 6, 2024.

The policy, originally notified on August 17, 2023, has now been amended after taking into consideration the genuine concerns of the refineries on some of the clauses that would have made the proposed upgradation projects unviable.

The amendments were made after intense and prolonged consultation between the government, refineries, and independent financial and legal advisory firms.

Revised refinery policy: Ogra kept out of anomaly-correcting body

When contacted, Adil Khattak, chairman Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) and Chief Executive Attock Refinery Ltd stated that the policy will enable the oil refineries to undertake major upgradation projects to not only to comply with Euro-V specifications but also increase production of deficit products of petrol and diesel by 99 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively and also reduce production of furnace oil by 78 per cent, which because of drastically reduced demand in recent years often results in storage constraints forcing the refineries to reduce capacity utilisation.

The refineries’ upgradation will bring in an investment of US $5-6 billion and not only result in cleaner environment-friendly fuels but also major savings of precious foreign exchange.

He further said that 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 its true letter and spirit.

The policy, which took more than four years in the making mainly due to changes in the governments and the bureaucracy, was initiated by Nadeem Babar as Special Advisor to the then Prime Minister, supported throughout by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in his various capacities, and the final credit for taking on board all stakeholders after due diligence and independent professional input goes to Muhammad Ali, the outgoing caretaker Minister for Power and Petroleum.

The chairman of OCAC also pointed out that the OGRA and the Directorate General Oil role has been pivotal in formulation of the policy and will remain so in successful implementation of the policy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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