Dubai: Construction of a new $750 million privately owned Pakistan refinery will begin next month, the company that owns the project said.

When commissioned in the first quarter of 2009, Indus Refinery will increase Pakistan's 12.77 million tonne annual petroleum refining capacity by 35 per cent.

"Total investment is in the order of $750 million," Indus Refinery Limited chief operating officer Eric Fore told Gulf News.

Apart from the main refining plant, the project cost will cover the building of a 21 kilometre oil pipe-line, terminal, tank farm and a wastewater treatment plant.

The 126,000 barrel per day refinery, located near Karachi's Port Qasim, is 80 per cent owned by PSI Energy Holding Company owned by British entrepreneur Ryan Cornelius. A number of Pakistani investors hold minority stakes.

The main processing unit for Indus is being relocated from Canada, Fore said, adding that this has reduced the overall development cost compared to building a completely new plant.

"The refinery has undergone significant design improvements and modifications. The changes were required to maximise middle distillate production," he said.

Low sulphur diesel, unleaded gasoline and jet fuel are among the products that the refinery will produce.

"Civil works will begin in May and commissioning will be in the first quarter of 2009," Fore said.

He said Pakistan's refined products consumption was 15.8 million tonnes last year and the 4.5-million-tonne Indus refinery will "significantly reduce the deficit" of fuels.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz recently said the government was in the process of finalising a refinery project with Abu Dhabi.

It will be a 200,000 barrels per day refinery at Khalifa Point in the Hub district of Balochistan province.