Saudi Arabia to set up $10 bn oil refinery in Pakistan

Saudi Arabia plans to set up a $10 billion oil refinery in Pakistan’s deepwater port of Gwadar. Speaking at the Indian Ocean port being developed with the help of China, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said, “Saudi Arabia wants to make Pakistan’s economic development stable through establishing an oil refinery and partnership with Pakistan in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.”

The minister said that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will visit Pakistan in February to sign the agreement. He added that Saudi Arabia would also invest in other sectors.

“With setting up of an oil refinery in Gwadar, Saudi Arabia will become an important partner in CPEC,” Pakistan Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said.

Beijing has pledged $60 billion as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that involves building power stations, major highways, new and upgraded railways and higher capacity ports, to help turn Pakistan into a major overland route linking western China to the world.

The Saudi news agency SPA earlier reported that Falih met Pakistan’s petroleum minister and Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi in Gwadar to discuss cooperation in refining, petrochemicals, mining and renewable energy. It said that Falih would finalize arrangements ahead of signing memorandums of understanding.

The Pakistani prime minister’s office said recently that Islamabad is expected to sign investment agreements with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the coming weeks.