Pakistan's largest oil refinery is in the pre-commissioning phase at Mouza Kund, in the district of Lasbella, Balouchistan, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources. In the current phase, preparatory activities are taking place, with different plants, equipment and instrumentation systems being run through confirmatory checks and tests. The cold circulation of crude oil has been established and sustained, and furnaces of different process units have been test-fired. The refinery is ready for hot commissioning and start up.

Industrial Info says the new refinery will have an installed refining capacity of 120,000 barrels per day (BBL/d); this output, combined with the smaller and fully operative refinery at the site, will have a total output of 155,000 BBL/d, which is 55 percent greater than the largest existing refinery in Pakistan.

RELATED: India, Pakistan Ink Natural Gas Pipeline Deal

The new refinery will expand the national capacity from 12.5 million to 18 million tons per year and will be a major contributor to the reduction of imports of refined petroleum products. In the future, the refinery's capacity can be expanded to 180,000 BBL/d.

Under the scope of the refinery project, the country's first isomerization plant is being commissioned. Industrial Info says the introduction of this technology will enable the refinery to produce higher volumes of auto gasoline to meet rising demand, and it will produce the first environmentally friendly gasoline with almost zero benzene content.

The crude oil feed will be shipped to a single mooring point 10 kilometers offshore in the Arabian Sea for direct discharge to the refinery's storage tanks. This facility can discharge tankers carrying more than 100,000 tons of crude oil.

Byco Oil Pakistan Limited (KARACHI: BYCO) (Karachi, Pakistan) is currently investing $600 million in the project and other ventures. Byco operates a quickly growing petroleum marketing business network with 222 retail outlets.