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Chinese mulling $13b investment in Gwadar

The Chinese petroleum industry has indicated an interest in shifting its excess capacity to Gwadar, bringing in estimated investment of $13 billion, a senior government official told Daily Times on Wednesday.

The China Chamber of Petroleum Industry (CCPI) and All China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) conveyed to Pakistani authorities during a recent visit that the Chinese petroleum industry is keen to invest in Pakistan”s energy sector, the official said.

The ACFIC and CCPI indicated that both the public and private sectors should cooperate in energy projects in Pakistan, with the Chinese private sector in particular seeing a lot of opportunities here, the official said.

This cooperation will not be restricted to building an oil pipeline to set up an energy corridor to Gwadar, but also in shifting energy related industry to Pakistan.

However, the government will need to provide strong support to lay down a framework for a safe financial, investment and security environment in Balochistan to attract this investment, the official said.

He said the Chinese petroleum industry sees four potentially fruitful projects. Firstly, an oil pipeline linking Gwadar to Xinjiang in China to set up an energy corridor. The economic viability of such a project is yet to be worked out. Secondly, the development of Gwadar Port Energy Zone, where the Chinese could set up an oil refinery with a capacity of 21 million tonnes.

China has been preparing a similar project along the Yangtze River in collaboration with Saudi Arabia for the last two years, but has now indicated it could shift the project to Pakistan, the official said. Other countries besides China will also be invited to invest in the project.

Thirdly, the Gwadar energy zone could accommodate other energy sector industries. The Chinese business groups said that China has excess capacity in the petroleum services industry and planned to move the excess capacity to Dubai, but was now considering shifting it to Gwadar, the official added. According to their initial estimates, the Gwadar Port Energy Zone could attract investment of up to $13 billion.

Fourthly, the Chinese petroleum industry also indicated an interest in oil and gas exploration projects in Pakistan, the official said. The Chinese business groups had proposed that a Pak-China energy and trade cooperation promotion association be established for such projects.

The association would include members from the oil and gas sector and other industries in the power sector. They had also suggested that a Pak-China joint investment company be set up to finance these projects, the official said.

Source: Daily Times

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