ISLAMABAD - Shaikh Muhammad Ahmed Ali Alkaitoob Alnuaimi, CEO Xclera Resources UAE called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday and informed that his company is planning to set up a state-of-the-art oil refinery in Pakistan at a cost of around $500 million which will start functioning by the middle of 2016.

Chaudhry Iftikhar chairman of Berkley Energy and David August briefed the Prime Minister that at the end of the first phase, the refinery, spread over an area of 400-500 acres, would have the capacity of 50,000 barrels per day. In the next three year’s time the refinery’s capacity would be increased to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The local company has been registered for the purpose by the name of United Petroleum, he said.

The Prime Minister assured the company of government of Pakistan’s fullest support in setting up this refinery which would be immensely beneficial for the country.

Talking about relations with the UAE the Prime Minister said both our countries have excellent relations spread over decades and projects like this would further strengthen mutual ties.

The Prime Minister was informed that the company has earmarked three possible sites for the refinery in Karak and Kohat areas and that oil present on these locations is light sweet crude oil of good quality.

Shaikh Muhammad Ahmed Ali Alkaitoob Alnuaimi informed the Prime Minister that this refinery would have very high standards on environmental pollution and would not cause any damage to the fauna and flora of the area.

Regarding this refinery a strategic asset for the country, the Prime Minister was pleased to note that in its initial phase it would employ hundreds of people from nearby areas.

Upon completion of second phase a total of 2000-3000 new jobs would be created, immensely benefitting the residents of the area. The Prime Minister encouraged the company to start work on this project as soon as possible as it will be a blessing for the people of that area generating lot of economic activity. Talking about the domestic situation in Pakistan the Prime Minister said the problem of terrorism is being addressed very successfully.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb has yielded very good results, as hideouts and sanctuaries of terrorists have been destroyed and the terrorists are on the run, he said.

Xcelera group’s Mansour informed the Prime Minister that ground breaking at a suitable site would take place in about four to six weeks’ time. Participants of the meeting thanked the Prime Minister for passing on directions for ensuring provision of security to the refinery and the personnel to be employed there.