It is reported that Abu Dhabi/Pakistan joint venture partners on the Baluchistan refinery in Pakistan have returned to work on the USD 5 billion projects after it was temporarily put on hold in January 2009.
A source close to the project tells that the project, in which Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company holds a 74% stake and Pakistan Arab Refinery Company holds 36% is back on track but that there is no certainty that progress will be sustained due to issues in Pakistan.
The joint venture put the refinery on hold in January due to an undisclosed procedural anomaly. Similar issues, believed to relate to the political situation in Pakistan, which the source describes as fluctuating could derail the project again.
Once complete, the plant will have capacity of 200,000 barrels a day to 300,000 barrels a day. At least three companies submitted bids in early October to Ipic for the front end engineering and design contract on the project, including Veco, part of the US' CH2M Hill, the US' Stone & Webster and Australia's WorleyParsons. The joint venture has yet to award a contract with any of these firms. The joint venture is unsure when a winning bidder will be announced.