InterviewPakistan to have first aromatics facility by 2013

09 June 2011 05:40  [Source: ICIS news]

Byco is building PakistanSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Byco Oil Pakistan Ltd (BOPL) is building the country’s first aromatics facility, which is expected to come on line by the middle of 2013, a senior company executive said on Thursday.

The facility will produce about 100,000 tonnes/year of benzene, 92,000 tonnes/year of paraxylene (PX), 80,000 tonnes/year of isomer-grade mixed xylene (MX) and 50,000 tonnes/year of orthoxylene (OX), said Mohammad Wasi Khan, president of chemical manufacturing at BOPL.

“We have already relocated a plant from Italy and the facility’s construction is underway,” Khan told ICIS in a telephone interview from the port city of Karachi, Pakistan.

The plant will be located at the same site in the Hubco coastal area of the Arabian Sea, which is about 50 km from Karachi, where Byco operates a 35,000 bbl/day refinery.

BOPL is also building a 120,000 bbl/day refinery at the same site and expects to bring it on line in the fourth quarter of 2011, Khan said.

“The refinery is nearing completion… It should be mechanically complete by October [or] November, this year,” he said.

The new refinery will provide the naphtha feedstock needed for its aromatics facility.

Pakistan, with a burgeoning 180m population, is a net importer of petrochemicals and does not have a naphtha cracker or an aromatics facility to date.

The country at present exports about 670,000 tonnes of naphtha annually, according to industry sources.

Khan said the reconstruction of the plant will start in the first quarter of 2012 and it should come on line by the middle of 2013.

The company plans to sell 50% of its products inside the country and will export the rest to the Middle East, Africa and China, he added.

Describing it as phase one of BOPL’s petrochemical project, which will cost $200m (€138m), Khan said the company has plans for a second phase in which it will increase its PX production capacity through the addition of a new PX plant at the same site.

The second phase, which will begin after the company has run the PX plant with “phase 1 configuration” for two to three years, is expected to cost an additional $150m and will increase its PX production capacity to 350,000 tonnes/year, he added.

Khan said although there is no immediate time line available, the company has plans for “bottom of the barrel upgradation” by incorporating a hydro cracker and delayed coker in its refinery configuration.

BOPL is a wholly-owned company of Mauritius-registered Byco Industries Inc (BII), which is jointly owned by Byco Busient Inc (BBI) and UAE-based Abraaj, with a 60% and 40% stake, respectively.

($1 = €0.69)

For more on paraxylene, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Please visit the complete ICIS plants and projects database
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Tahir Ikram
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