UAE to invest $5 billion in Pakistan's oil refinery, says envoy

UAE Ambassador Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi is talking to Arab News about his country’s plan to invest $5 billion in an oil refinery on October 3, 2019. (AN Photo)
Updated 06 October 2019

UAE to invest $5 billion in Pakistan's oil refinery, says envoy

  • PARCO Coastal Refinery is among UAE’s major investments in the country
  • The oil refinery project in Hub, Balochistan, will have an output of 250,000-300,000 barrels per day

ISLAMABAD: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) plans to invest $5 billion in an oil refinery project in Pakistan by the end of 2019, said UAE’s top diplomat while talking to Arab News on Thursday.
“We are going to launch very soon one of the biggest investments in a refinery project in Hub (a town in Balochistan). It is going to be a $5 billion investment between Mubadala Petroleum Company of Abu Dhabi, Pak Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) and OMV [OMV Pakistan Exploration Gesellschaft],” UAE Ambassador Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi said.
PARCO Coastal Refinery is among UAE’s major investments in the country. It was incorporated in Pakistan in May 1974, as a public limited company. Today, PARCO is considered the fulcrum in Pakistan’s strategic oil supply and logistics.
Mubadala Petroleum is an international oil and gas company based in the UAE.
The plan is to set up a deep-conversion, state-of-the-art refinery that would have an output of 250,000-300,000 barrels per day.
Al-Zaabi said the project was the result of extensive discussions between Mubadala Petroleum and Pakistan’s petroleum ministry along with PARCO and OMV.
“This project will show the strength of UAE-Pakistan relations and how the UAE is focusing on investment in and future of Pakistan.”
Pakistan has sought local and foreign investment in oil and gas sector. It is also offering good rates to oil and gas exploration and production companies.
“The two governments are finalizing the minute details of this refinery project. Many meetings have taken place regarding this project,” Al-Zaabi said, adding that a UAE delegation, headed by Musabbeh Al Kaabi, the chief executive officer of Mubadala Petroleum, visited Pakistan a few months ago and met with the board of investment chairman and Pakistan’s petroleum minister.
“They have discussed this project in detail. We are going to launch it very soon,” he added.


Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

Updated 37 min 22 sec ago

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

  • New skills-based system to be launched from next month
  • Will include India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program that will eventually include Pakistan, a senior official at the Saudi labor ministry said this week. 

Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor, said on Tuesday in Riyadh that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes.

Under the new policy, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. 

The new scheme would be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it would become compulsory, Al-Omair said. The new program would first be applied to manpower recruited from India due to its large size in the Saudi market.

Eventually, the program will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.6 million Pakistani expats those have been a vital source of foreign remittances.

Last year the country received $21.8 billion in remittances out of which $5 billion were remitted by Pakistani nationals working in Kingdom.

According to the Pakistani ministry of finance, there was a major decline in manpower export to Saudi Arabia where only 100,910 emigrants proceeded for employment in 2018 as compared to 2017, a drop of 42,453 emigrants.

However, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase the share of the Pakistani labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower. Pakistani groups will visit the Kingdom in the coming months to finalize arrangements.