PAPCO upgrades white oil pipeline to pump gasoline

KARACHI: The white Pak-Arab Pipeline Company (PAPCO) pipeline, previously used to supply diesel only, has been upgraded at a cost of $200 million to carry gasoline, reducing truck movement and increasing coverage of fuel, The News learned on Friday.

PAPCO, which operates a pipeline system to transport fuels from Karachi seaports to major oil refineries and cities across the country, was revamping its existing 786 km long 26-inch fuel line for multi-product use during a long time due to the enormity of the project.

The Company’s pipeline consists of two elements. One is Karachi-Mahmoodkot (District Muzzafargarh Punajb) (KMK) and the other Mahmoodkot-Faisalabad-Machhike (MFM).

According to sources, this was a strategic project, involving the construction of new diesel and motor gasoline storage tanks, product delivery gantries and a trans-mix processing facility, including related civil, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and control works.

The pipeline company is a subsidiary of Parco and holds the shareholding of Pak Arab Refinery Company (51%), Shell Pakistan Ltd (26%), Pakistan State Oil (12%) and Total Parco Marketing Limited (11%).

Pak Arab Refinery Co (Parco) carried out the MFM component upgrade works on its own and Parco, Shell, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Total Parco Marketing Limited (TPML) revamped the KMK part of the project by l intermediary of PAPCO.

“The project has been operationalized recently and has started pumping gasoline from Karachi to Mahmoodkot and from there to Machhike,” oil industry sources told The News.

The project would be officially inaugurated by a senior government official, most likely Prime Minister Imran Khan, for whom time was being sought.

The upgrade of the KMK portion of the pipeline was completed at a cost of $120 million, while the $80 million was spent on the refurbishment of the MFM half.

Prior to the upgrade, diesel was pumped from Karachi to the north of the country via the pipeline, and after the retooling, gasoline would be supplied to Punjab, the largest consumer of petroleum products.

According to sources associated with the development project, the upgraded pipeline is currently operating at around 30-35% capacity and will be gradually upgraded to 100% in the coming days.

Operating the upgraded pipeline at full capacity would help ease road congestion by replacing ten thousand tanker trucks and would be environmentally friendly.

Sources pointed out that the delay in operationalizing the project was due to security-related issues.

“Director General Parco Shahid Mahmood Khan has actively taken up this issue with senior government officials and now a well-planned security blanket has been devised with the participation of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and its provincial chapters “, revealed sources.

Completion of the project would add 255,000 tonnes of fuel storage capacity to the system, industry officials said, adding that it would also reduce the movement of thousands of trucks operating from Keamari in Karachi to Mehmoodkot and back.

Apart from upgrading the pipeline project, Parco also completed its project to upgrade its refining capacity from 100,000 to 120,000 barrels per day.

“The project was completed at a rapid pace after the incumbent CEO took over,” the sources said. This project would also be inaugurated by the Prime Minister.

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