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

Gwadar port in Pakistan. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 13, 2019, 11.50 AM (IST)

Saudi Arabia is planning to set up a $10 billion oil refinery in Pakistan's deepwater port of Gwadar, the Saudi energy minister said on Saturday.

"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," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters in Gwadar.

Responding to Saudi Arabia's aid, Pakistan's Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said, "With setting up of an oil refinery in Gwadar, Saudi Arabia will become an important partner in CPEC".

Pakistan which is suffering from a major financial crisis has been making efforts to attract investment and other financial support.

Since the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power in August, Pakistan has secured economic assistance packages from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and China.

In November, Pakistan extended talks with the International Monetary Fund as it seeks its 13th bailout since the late 1980s to deal with a looming balance of payments crisis.

Saudi Arabia had earlier offered a $6 billion package to Pakistan including aid to finance crude imports.

Khalid al-Falih also said that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman would visit Pakistan in February to sign the agreement adding that Saudi Arabia would also invest in other sectors.

Besides Saudi Arabia, China extended $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.

Beijing's support would help Pakistan to emerge as a major overland route linking western China to the world.

Last month, the UAE said it will soon give $3 billion to Islamabad.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Story highlights

'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,' Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters in Gwadar.