Attock Refinery Company (ARC) has signed an agreement with the government, clearing the way for its upgrading project. In accordance with the government’s 1994 petroleum policy, the agreement makes the upgrade viable by allowing the company to retain a higher level of profits, usually subject to a ceiling.

The company will install a new catalytic reformer, licensed by UOP of the US. The unit will upgrade the octane rating of the refinery’s gasoline. The upgrade will also include the installation of a two-state crude distillation unit to replace an existing 5,000-barrel-a-day (b/d) unit. The new unit will have a capacity of 10,000 b/d. Work will be carried out by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Company of Japan. The refinery has two further units which will continue to operate. Total capacity at the refinery is 35,000 b/d. ARC says that work is scheduled to start in May and will take two years.

Pakistan Refinery Company (PRC) is also planning to upgrade and has submitted a proposal to the government for a debottlenecking project and the installation of new units. The estimated cost is $60 million. PRC says it is waiting for clarification from the government before it can sign an agreement allowing the project to move forward.