October 10, 2007 / 8:04 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Pakistan OKs refinery project by UAE's IPIC-agency

(Adds details, background)

ABU DHABI, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Pakistan’s government has approved a project worth up to $5 billion by Abu Dhabi’s IPIC to build an oil refinery in the Asian country, the official UAE news agency WAM said on Wednesday.

The agency said an economic committee headed by Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, which met in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Wednesday, endorsed the 300,000 barrels-per-day refinery project, which is to take three years to complete.

The project will require an investment of $4 billion to $5 billion, WAM quoted Ashfaque Hassan Khan, economic adviser to Pakistan’s Finance Ministry, as saying after the meeting.

Abu Dhabi government-owned International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) will hold a 74 percent stake in the Khalifa Coastal Refinery joint venture, with Pakistan’s Pan-Arab Refinery (PARCO) holding the remainder, the official was quoted as saying.

The refinery, to be built in Balochistan province, will enjoy a 20-year tax holiday and a waiver on a 5 percent workers profit participation, he said.

IPIC invests in oil-related projects for the government of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and the emirate which controls more than 90 percent of the OPEC member’s oil reserves.

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