Pakistan, KSA set to ink multi-billion dollar Aramco oil refinery deal

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A 15-member Saudi delegation visited Gwadar the port city in Balochistan on Wednesday as part of the finalization process of MoU for the Aramco oil refinery. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Embassy in Islamabad)
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Pakistani authorities expect to sign a number of investment deals including the construction of mega oil refinery during the upcoming visit of Saudi crown prince to Pakistan. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Embassy in Islamabad)
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A 15-member Saudi delegation visited Gwadar the port city in Balochistan as part of the finalization process of MoU for the Aramco oil refinery. (Photo courtesy: Saudi Embassy in Islamabad)
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Pakistani authorities are briefing visiting delegation of Saudi Arabia at Gwadar, Balochistan. (Photo courtesy: Board of Investment)
Updated 05 January 2019
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Pakistan, KSA set to ink multi-billion dollar Aramco oil refinery deal

  • MoU for construction of mega oil refinery will be inked in February, says information minister
  • Pakistan expects $15 billion investment from Saudi Arabia in the next 3 years

KARACHI: Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have finalized the Memorandum of Understand (MoU) for the construction of multi-billion dollar Saudi Aramco oil refinery in Gwadar deep seaport city, located in Balochistan province, officials said on Thursday.
Pakistan is expecting to sign a number of investment deals including the construction of mega oil refinery in the month of February in the presence of a high-level Saudi delegation, confirmed Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry. 
“The oil refinery project is the biggest investment project of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan,” he added.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have lately expressed renewed interest in enhancing bilateral strategic and trade engagements while the Kingdom also pledged $3 billion in a financial assistant to help Pakistan out of its economic woes. 
“A 15-member delegation of Saudi Arabia visited Gwadar from Karachi as part of the finalization process of the MoU for Aramco oil refinery,” Haroon Sharif, Minister of State and Chairman of Pakistan Board of Investment (BoI), told Arab News.
“We have finalized the MoU for the construction of Aramco oil refinery,” Sharif said adding that “overall directions have been agreed upon and the agreement will be signed at an ‘appropriate time’.”
Pakistani authorities expect $15 billion investment from Saudi Arabia after Prime minister Imran Khan chose the Kingdom for his maiden visit and consequently made two official visits.
Earlier, the BoI chief had said that “We are going to sign MoUs with Saudi Aramco and Acwa Power within few weeks. Saudi Aramco is going to set up oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Pakistan while Acwa Power will invest in Pakistan renewable energy sector”, Sharif informed.
As part of the investment plan, the Saudi Aramco will construct petrochemical complex housing multi-billion dollar oil refinery.
“I am expecting around $15 billion investment from Saudi Arabia in the next 3 years. The inflow of investment for oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Pakistan is estimated to be between $6 billion to $10 billion,” BoI Chairman told Arab News. 
Pakistan hopes to attract more than $40 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the next five years. “We estimate that roughly around $40 billion investment will be made by these three countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, and China) in the next three to five years,” Sharif had told Arab New during his recent interview. 
During the recent visit of the Saudi delegation to Gwadar, the Chairman of Gwadar Port Authority, Dostain Khan Jamaldini, on Wednesday gave a briefing about the current developments including the port, progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar Master Plan.


Pakistan plans to boost space program with UAE collaboration

Updated 21 March 2019
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Pakistan plans to boost space program with UAE collaboration

  • Pakistan in talks with the UAE for help in “satellite manufacturing and relevant applications”
  • Signed last year an agreement with China to send its first mission into space by 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is exploring options to collaborate with the United Arab Emirates for its nascent space program, a senior official at Pakistan’s bureaucratic space agency said on Thursday, in joint ventures that could potentially boost the country’s socioeconomic development and national security.

Last year, Pakistan announced that it had signed an agreement with China to send the country’s first mission into space by 2022. 

“The UAE is one of our best friends in the Muslim world and collaboration in space-related activities will help both the Emirates and Pakistan,” Hassam Muhammad Khan, spokesman for the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), told Arab News.

He said that space technology required “huge funds and special skills” and thus Pakistan was in talks with the UAE “in satellite manufacturing and relevant applications.” 

Khan said Pakistan was a strong believer in the peaceful use of outer space and wanted to use technology only for socioeconomic development and national security. 

“The UAE has its own strengths in space technology and we want to benefit from them,” he added.

Pakistan currently has four remote-sensing and communications satellites in total – two ground stations and two in orbit. In July last year, Pakistan launched two satellites with the help of China, enhancing its ability to predict and ascertain levels of precipitation, and runoff water, for a given area in the country.

Dr. Qamar ul Islam, the head of the Department of Space Science at the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad, said Pakistan lacked satellite launch facilities and capabilities and thus had “to seek assistance of friendly countries.”

“The real issues Pakistan faces at the moment are lack of funding, but our collaboration with the UAE in the space sector can really prove beneficial for both countries,” he told Arab News. “It has become crucial for Pakistan to have a good presence in outer space to protect its sovereignty and ensure security.”

Pakistan participated in this year’s Global Space Congress held in Abu Dhabi on March 19 for the first time and shared the details about their satellite related projects with the audience. SUPARCO was representing Pakistan in this event in UAE where the secretary of SUPARCO Dr. Arif Ali said that the commission was in initial level talks with the UAE for potential collaboration in its space program.