Pakistan welcomes UAE’s continued interest in petroleum sector

The CEO of Mubadala Petroleum Musabbeh Al Kaabi appreciated Pakistan government’s steps to facilitate foreign investors and discussed the updates and progress on the establishment of PARCO Coastal Refinery — one of the UAE’s major investments in the country. (Shutterstock)
Updated 12 April 2019

Pakistan welcomes UAE’s continued interest in petroleum sector

  • UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum keen to further invest in Pakistan
  • PARCO Coastal refinery is one of UAE’s major investments in the country

ISLAMABAD: One of the leading companies of the United Arab Emirates, Mubadala Petroleum, has expressed interest to further invest in Pakistan and undertake expansion of current facilities and infrastructure, according to an official statement released by the Ministry of Petroleum on Thursday.
The CEO of Mubadala Petroleum, Musabbeh Al Kaabi met with Pakistan’s Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan at the ministry where the two officials discussed UAE’s investments in various sectors of Pakistani market.
Al Kaabi, accompanied by the UAE’s ambassador to Pakistan Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al Noami, appreciated Pakistan government’s steps to facilitate foreign investors and discussed the updates and progress on the establishment of PARCO Coastal Refinery — one of the UAE’s major investments in the country.
“The Federal Minister was also apprised of execution timelines of the coastal oil refinery and both dignitaries expressed satisfaction over the current headway being made by both sides on this vital undertaking,” read the handout.
PARCO’s plan to setup a deep conversion state of the art refinery would be able to refine 250,000 bpd and would be instrumental in adding to the national exchequer, the statement added.
“The group also showed interest in LNG business and exploration on onshore and offshore blocks. They also showed interest in establishing first propylene plant in Pakistan,” the handout read.
Khan told the visiting dignitary that Pakistan was committed to facilitate current and potential investors and that “efforts are already underway to make incremental improvement in the ease of doing business in the country.”
He commended UAE’s continued investments in different sectors and said that Pakistan downstream oil refining and marketing sector offered lucrative investment opportunities. “Based on industry demand forecasts, Pakistan needs new oil marketing and storage network,” he added.
He also noted that the bilateral relations between the two states were on an upward trajectory, and there had been regular exchanges between their top leadership.


EU safety agency suspends Pakistani airlines’ European authorization

Updated 01 July 2020

EU safety agency suspends Pakistani airlines’ European authorization

  • The step has been taken due to concerns about the country’s ability to ensure compliance with international aviation standards
  • PIA expects the ‘earliest possible’ lifting of suspension after action by the government and the airline

ISLAMABAD: The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has suspended Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) authorization to fly to the bloc for six months, the airline said on Tuesday, in a major blow to the country’s flag carrier.
Separately, the safety agency said it took the action due to concerns about the country’s ability to ensure compliance with international aviation standards at all times.
The suspension follows Pakistan’s grounding of 262 of the country’s 860 pilots — including 141 of PIA’s 434 — whose licenses the aviation minister termed “dubious.”
“EASA has temporarily suspended PIA’s authorization to operate to the EU member states for a period of six months effective July 1, 2020 with the right to appeal,” PIA said in a statement. It added it would temporarily discontinue all its flights to Europe.
Confirming the move in an emailed statement, the EASA referred to a recent investigation by Pakistan which it said showed a “large share” of pilot licenses to be invalid.
Pakistan’s grounding of the pilots followed a preliminary report on a PIA crash in Karachi that killed 97 people last month.
PIA said it is in contact with the EASA to take corrective measures and appeal against the decision, adding that it expected the “earliest possible” lifting of the suspension after action by the government and the airline.
The EASA also suspended the authorization of another Pakistani airline, Vision Air International.
Vision Air International did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Following the EASA’s decision, the UK Civil Aviation Authority said it, too, was withdrawing PIA’s permit to operate from three of its airports, as required under law.
“PIA flights from Birmingham, London Heathrow and Manchester airports are suspended with immediate effect,” a spokesman for the UK authority told Reuters.
The three were major flying destinations for the airline.
Meanwhile, Pakistani pilots and their union, the Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA), say there are discrepancies in the government’s list of pilots with licenses deemed dubious and are demanding a judicial investigation.
PIA and private airline Air Blue have also queried the list with PIA saying 36 of its pilots mentioned had either retired or left the airline, while Air Blue said it no longer employed seven of nine pilots on the list.
“It contains names of highly educated and qualified pilots who have passed all the tests,” PALPA’s president, Chaudhry Salman, told Reuters. “We want a fair and impartial resolution to this matter.”
An official at Pakistan’s aviation ministry, Abdul Sattar Khokhar, said they did not have full details of the discrepancies. “The issue is being sorted out in consultation with airlines and civil aviation authorities.”