Byco Petroleum suspends production amid low demand

KARACHI: Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited has put its refinery on cold circulation due to “very low demand” for petroleum products.

Consumption of POL products in the country have fallen drastically since the provinces have imposed economic lockdowns to effectively control the possible spread of coronavirus.

“Byco chose not to fully shutdown the refining complex so that crude refining operations could be restarted within hours when the demand picked up again, said a statement issued by the company on Monday. “We appreciates the Ministry of Energy’s proactive steps, and support government’s stance of prioritizing consumption of domestic crude oil and condensate; keeping domestic refineries operating and minimizing import of POL products.”

As per the statement, Byco is hopeful that oil marketing companies will abide by the directives issued by the ministry, which asked the OMCs to stop importing the POL products and increase offtake from domestic refineries.

“The country’s refining industry stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the nation to persevere against the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. We pray and trust that Pakistan will emerge stronger subsequent to successfully countering the pandemic. The company anticipates that the demand will pick up soon so that we can quickly resume production,” said Fayaz Ahmad Khan, Vice President (Commercial) at BBPL.

Earlier, the Ministry of Energy, through an official order, had advised OMC’s to cancel their import orders for petroleum products from April 1, 2020, to support Pakistan’s domestic refining industry and energy sector.

The ministry had notified law enforcement agencies that all of the nation’s refiners must be allowed to continue uninterrupted supply of fuel throughout the country.

It had further guaranteed free movement for the industry’s employees, vendors, and contractors to ensure availability of POL products at all petrol pumps across the country amid nationwide lockdown.

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