Oil cartels opposing new projects PSO MD

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ISLAMABAD: Naeem Yahya Mir, managing director of Pakistan State oil (PSO), has said that the powerful lobby of cartels is fleecing consumers by making huge profits and creating hurdles in the way of launching new projects in the country. Addressing a press conference, he termed the agreements with Bakri Trading Limited Company for import of high-speed furnace oil (HSFO) and Pakistan National Shipping Corporation for shipping fuel in the supreme national interest, and said that the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and the laid down procedure are creating hurdles in the way of these projects.

He said: “When I can ensure the best deal without floating tenders, why should I adhere to the PPRA rules.

Mir said that he would continue to breach the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules in the interests of the country. India, on an average, initiates 30 projects on a daily basis, whereas cartels in Pakistan are busy in creating problems for these projects to ensure windfall profits, he added.

Mir said he has come to Islamabad to dispel the impression developed in the media against him and the initiatives he has taken.

Mentioning about the cartels lobby, he said, “I have also broken the cartels of a few companies by allowing 2.7 percent of Oxygenate in tenders and saved Rs3 billion per annum.
That’s why the cartels have turned against me,” he said. He said he came from Kuwait Petroleum Company with the vision to make Pakistan State oil a world class company. If Parliament comes up with the legislation on dual nationality, he will first resign from the post of the Pakistan State oil managing director, he said.

Pakistani refineries were old and they need to modify to meet the current requirements.

“Byco refinery was set up by dismantling old plants and Pak-Arab Refinery Company (Parco) is the only refinery that is somewhat modern and efficient,” said Mir and pledged to make PSO a global energy player in the next six years.

India has access to the markets of Japan and the United States by setting up refineries, he said, adding, “I want to follow this vision and I will make PSO number one marketing company in Pakistan in the next two years.”

Pakistan State oil will set up refinery of 40,000 barrels per day refining capacity in North that would produce petrol of Euro-4 quality, he said, adding that the refinery will be set up in a joint venture with private sector.

However, when asked as to why PSO itself go for installing the blending plant, particularly when it is committed to set up refinery in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and enormous storage facility in Hub with an aim to bring down the cost of fuel, Mir said that it is too technical and Pakistan State oil does not want to get indulged in it.

The circular debt is also bleeding the energy sector; however, Pakistan State oil receivables have come down to Rs120 billion against Rs240 billion, he said. By focusing on exploration sector, the country could save billions of rupees as it imports six million tons fuel, 3.5 million tons diesel, 1.5 million tons petrol and 0.5 million tons jet fuel, said Mir. He said that the Economic Coordination Committee has approved establishment of blending plants in the country and for blending local companies would be preferred.

Mir said that blending plants would be established within the timeframe of four years for which PSO has signed an agreement with Bakri firm. By eliminating addition of detergent additives in Mogas and diesel, the company would save approximately Rs635 million per annum, he said, adding that savings of Rs450 million per annum were also expected through the stoppage of war premium insurance payments on POL product imports.

Additionally, by uplifting products from local resources / refineries, foreign exchange of approximately $200 million would be saved annually and a further Rs500 million would be saved by engaging the national flag carrier PNSC transport furnace oil. The power plants in the country are using most expensive fuel for generation plants, which is also affecting the performance of these plants, he said.

Talking about the circular debt, the Pakistan State oil managing director said, “We have to take bold steps to minimise the impact of the circular debt.”

Mir also outlined some of the new initiatives the company has undertaken under his leadership, including signing a contract of affreightment (CoA) with Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) for importing furnace oil from foreign ports, development of a new oil tanker mooring point and storage facility at Hub, which will increase the national storage capacity and reduce congestion at the existing jetties, establishment of over 100 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) gas filling stations in the upcoming year and agreements with Parco, Byco and Bakri Trading for the acquisition of POL products.

Courtesy: The News

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