Establishment of the estimated $1,000 million joint-venture refinery with Iran has progressed with the call to prequalify contractors for the basic engineering and design contract.

The project is being set up by the local Petroleum Refining & Petrochemical Corporation (Perac) and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). They intend to build a fully integrated, grassroots refinery at Khalifa Point, near Hub in Baluchistan.

The project will process 6 million tonnes a year, or about 110,000 barrels a day (b/d) of heavy Iranian crude oil. Output will include liquefied petroleum gas, head of barrel crude, various grades of leaded and unleaded gasoline, kerosene, sulphur and coke. The processing equipment will include crude and vacuum units, a catalytic cracker reformer, a hydrogen plant, a delayed coker, a hydrocracker, a sulphur recovery unit, utilities and offsite facilities, including an effluent treatment plant. The refinery will have a 54-MW power station and reverse osmosis units.

Engineering firms have until 2 August to obtain prequalification documents from Perac (see Tenders).

Iran and Pakistan reached a final agreement on setting up the refinery during an early June visit to Islamabad by Iran’s Oil Minister Gholamreza Aqazadeh (MEED 23:6:95). Pakistan also agreed to increase oil imports from Iran. It currently purchases 20,000 b/d. Iran and Pakistan also plan to co-operate on a $3,500 million natural gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan (MEED 17:2:95). They are inviting foreign companies to take part in the project.