Pakistan Refinery Ltd. (PRL) has decided to move forward with its long-delayed plan to upgrade and expand its 55,000-b/d hydroskimming refinery along the coastal belt of Karachi, Pakistan (OGJ Online, Mar. 17, 2016).
Approved for development by PRL’s board in a late-December 2021 meeting, the revised plan—now officially known as the refinery expansion and upgrade project (REUP)—will include works to upgrade the site into a deep conversion refinery equipped to produce Euro 5 diesel and gasoline as a means of achieving compliance with the government of Pakistan’s requirement for cleaner, environmentally friendly transportation fuels, the operator said in a filing to Pakistan Stock Exchange Ltd.
Alongside ensuring the refinery’s long-term sustainability by increasing its overall complexity and reducing its output of high-sulfur furnace oil, the REUP also will expand the site’s crude oil processing capacity to 100,000 b/d, PRL said.
Based on an updated detailed feasibility study for the project, PRL estimated REUP will now require a total investment of about $1.2 billion, up from the operator’s previous cost estimate of $1 billion in 2019 (OGJ Online, Mar. 4, 2019).
PRL—which plans to undertake front-end engineering design (FEED) as well as appoint a financial advisor for REUP by the quarter ending Mar. 31, 2022—said it will take financial investment decision and award a contract for delivery of engineering, procurement, and construction services on the project following completion of the FEED study.
Further details regarding a specific timeframe for REUP were not disclosed.
In its latest annual report published in mid-August 2021, PRL said it was reviewing options for purchasing preowned refining units with throughput capacities of 50,000-100,000 b/d for relocation to Pakistan as part of its cost-reduction measures for REUP.
In addition to primary bottoms-conversion units, other preowned equipment PRL was considering for purchase included units for hydrotreating, hydrofining, reforming, isomerization, alkylation, hydrogen production, additional sulfur removal, and utilities equipment.