INTERVIEW: KALIM A. SIDDIQUI, PRESIDENT-PETROLEUM MARKETING BYCO PETROLEUM PAKISTAN

'LPG FILLING STATIONS ARE ON THE CARDS'

AMANULLAH BASHAR
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
July 19 - 25, 20
10

Kalim A Siddiqui, President of Petroleum Marketing at Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (BPPL), is one of the most seasoned professionals in the oil and petrochemical industry. He is currently putting his best to make Byco a top brand in the petroleum world.

In fact, Siddiqui assumed this important responsibility from 1st April 2009 to lead Byco's Petroleum Marketing initiatives to become a dominant market player. Having an in depth insights into development in the sector both locally and international Siddiqui on the back of his extensive experience has a great confidence that Byco which is on its way to be a top class oil marketing as well as a major refinery is going to play a leading role in the petroleum regime of the country.

Discussing the current energy scenario prevailing in the country, Kalim Siddiqi said the natural gas which is currently playing a dominating role in the energy basket of the country has gone under heavy pressure in the wake of ever increasing demand and static supplies forcing the stakeholders to look for alternative energy resources.

In this respect the clever energy companies have started exploring various options for sustainable fuel supplies at an affordable price. In this respect, Byco previously known as Bosicor has taken a bold initiative of launching a campaign for liquefied petroleum gas generally known as LPG as autogas in the country.

Byco, a new joint venture between Bosicor (60 percent) and Abraj (40 percent) is in the process of introducing LPG filling stations and LPG kits which will be a sustainable and better source of fuel for automobiles across the country especially in the remote areas having no gas pipeline structure for supplies of gas.

At Byco, Siddiqui is looking after the corporate turnaround of petroleum marketing, responsible for giving it a new brand identity with a global vision. The group, with country's upcoming refining and petrochemical complex and with an aggressive marketing arm, is poised to become the energy leader.

Siddiqui, holding a bachelor in chemical engineering and masters in chemistry, has broad-based and global experience in business development, system reengineering and streamlining processes, managing supply chain, marketing and sales, overall operations management in the oil industry for over 30 years holding various senior management positions.

He was in PSO before joining Byco Group where he served for nearly eight years in different management roles. As the managing director, being his last position in the company, he ensured continuity of supply chain to meet country's fuel needs for private and public sectors despite difficult economic conditions.

Siddiqui has served as chairman oil companies advisory committee (OCAC) and has held directorships in various reputable companies, and professional and educational institutes including Pakistan Refinery Limited, Pak-Arab Pipeline Company, Asia Petroleum Limited, Agrimall, Pak-Grease Manufacturing Company Limited, Petroleum Institute of Pakistan, Pakistan Advertisers Society and Lahore University of Management Sciences.

Before joining PSO, he served in Caltex (now Chevron) for 20 years locally as well as internationally. His international assignments were in the USA, Vietnam and Australia. In Caltex, he has dealt with fuel and lube marketing, lube product development and production, LPG marketing, and product engineering activities. He also worked for three years in the UK with Howden Engineering Company, Burmah-Castrol Refinery, North West Water Authority and APV Company before coming to Pakistan in 1980.

Kalim Siddiqi said that looking at the situation Byco has decided to go ahead with LPG scientific outlets for supplies of motor gas even in the remote parts of the country. Kalim A Siddiqui said that arrival of LPG as auto gas will change the energy scenario in the country especially by reducing the heavy reliance on CNG or natural gas in exact terms.

He regretted that we lost various opportunities primarily due to delays and lethargic attitude and lack of planning for future generations. He referred to much delayed project of Iran gas pipeline which is pending for more than a decade. Development of Thar coal was yet another example where we failed to develop a strong energy base only because of negligence and lack of planning for future energy needs. Had we developed our indigenous energy resources on time the economic situation would have been quite different, he remarked.

He recalled that it was quite easier to materialize Iran-Gas Pipeline Project in the early days when Iran was insisting and offering supply of gas at a reasonable price and there were no international pressures involved in this project. But now the situation is different not only we have to bear with the burden of escalated cost of the project from $2 billion to $8 billion today but have to face pressures from international forces which are against this project due to certain political reasons.

Coming back to rising demand of gas, Kalim was quite confident that LPG had the potential to share the burden of demand and restore stability of the energy sector in the coming years which he felt would also provide an opportunity to Byco to be a household energy brand in Pakistan.

When asked how would you compete with natural gas which is cheaper than LPG, Kalim who said LPG has an edge over natural gas in the sense it is an efficient fuel as compared to CNG and gives much better heating value as well as power even more than gasoline. He disclosed that Byco refinery so far the youngest and smallest of the five bigger refineries in the country. It is well on its way to become on top of the list with the arrival of the Byco refinery having a capacity of one million tons barrels a day. Currently, Byco has a refining capacity of 30,000 barrels a day.

At the moment, Byco is engaged with branding activity of its new identity and has achieved a milestone of 110 outlets across the country but is well prepared to launch some innovative products and services for niche market in Pakistan and not available in Pakistan so far.

He cited the example of Bunkering port which provides fuel to ocean going vessels. Since bunkering fuel system was not available in the country the ships have to call on other ports of fueling facility. In order to fill the gap, Byco has planned to develop a bunkering port and developing a terminal at Kemari for the purpose. When completed this would be a first to the credit of Byco.

Another attractive product is the winterised diesel which remains unaffected of the severe cold weather which usually affects the normal diesel which coagulates due to cold weather. This product will be a gift for northern areas, he said.