ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) has constituted a Committee under the chairmanship of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CPEC, Khalid Mansoor, for preparation of oil storage capacity enhancement plan at Keamari, keeping in view existing storage capacities at ports, official sources told Business Recorder.
The Federal Cabinet, which met on November 23, 2021 with Prime Minister in the chair, has also endorsed the terms of the committee.
On November 18, 2021, the CCoE was briefed about construction of oil storage at oil installation area (OIA) Keamari.
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs which was working on the proposal for the last several months submitted their summary wherein it was proposed that the ban imposed in 1984 on further construction of storage at the KPT’s Oil Installation Areas (OIA), Keamari, Karachi, may be lifted. Furthermore, the KPT may be allowed to allocate land in OIA to registered Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and oil refineries operating in Pakistan after fulfilling all codal regulatory and procedural requirements, for construction of additional oil storage.
The sources said, the CCoE discussed the proposal of Ministry of Maritime Affairs regarding “construction of oil storage at oil Installation Area Keamari, Karachi” and constituted a committee to come up with the options/recommendations in totality, under the chairmanship of SAPM on CPEC, and comprising of Secretary Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Secretary Petroleum Division, Chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Member Energy, Planning Commission to deliberate on following aspects: (i) to assess and forecast the national requirement of petroleum products and the consequent storage capacity requirement, and submit a storage capacity enhancement plan keeping in view the present capacities at ports in the country; (ii) measures taken to best manage the existing storage in the county; and (iii) to find options regarding mitigation of security risks associated with supply and storage of the petroleum products at KPT.
The Committee is to submit its recommendations to the CCoE for consideration within 30 days. Secretariat support to the committee is to be provided by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.
In 2016, the Ministry of Defence had refused to lift ban on building of new oil storages at Keamari and asked Petroleum Division to place its viewpoint before the National Security Council.
Pakistan State Oil, sources said, wanted to establish additional storage to maintain adequate fuel reserves aimed at ensuring smooth supply to consumers across the country.
The sources said the proposal of building of additional oil storage capacities had also been discussed in 2017 by the then Minister for Maritime Affairs with the officials of Ministry of Defence, Pakistan Navy, PSO, PARCO, PRL, NRL, OCAC and other stakeholders from the private sector. However, no progress has been witnessed on this issue for the last five years despite the fact the country has faced petroleum and RLNG crises time and again.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021