The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will not install a refinery at Gwadar, as revealed by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power and Petroleum, Tabish Gauhar to a local English daily.
He added that the KSA is interested in setting up a refinery and a petrochemical chemical complex near either Hub or Karachi instead.
“However, there is no mentionable progress from Aramco as to when and where the deep conversion refinery with the capacity to refine 250,000 barrels per day of crude oil will be set up,” he said.
When Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman visited Pakistan in February 2019, several MoUs for projects worth $20 billion in different segments of the economy had been signed, and it had been planned that half of this amount would be invested in a refinery and petrochemical complex in Gwadar.
However, when Aramco conducted a feasibility report later on, it concluded that a refinery at Gwadar would not be viable. The report said that if the refinery is established at either Hub, Balochistan, or near Karachi in Sindh, it would be financially viable.
Officials familiar with the matter said that a new refinery is likely to be operational within the next five years, with a capacity of over 200,000 barrels per day.
If the KSA sends a delegation for follow-up meetings after the thawing of the bilateral relations, the Pakistani government may be expected to take up the issue of the refinery investment of $10 billion with it.
For now, the Petroleum Division has not received any word about the development of the refinery, SAPM Gauhar said.