US$13bn Ecuador-Venezuela refinery JV calls in China's CNPC

Jul 08, 2013 12:00 AM

Ecuador's vice president Jorge Glas announced China state oil firm CNPC's participation in the more than US$13bn Pacífico refinery project, scheduled to begin operations in 2017.

Pacífico was being pursued as a JV between Ecuador and Venezuela state oil firms Petroecuador and PDVSA, with the former holding a 51% interest and the latter the balance. However, CNPC will acquire a 30% interest, Glas said in a weekly national address.

Glas did not quantify CNPC's investment in the project but added, "we've advanced a lot in the realization of investments, and they comprise capital contributions from the (original) partners and the new partner."

Ecuador has yet to return to the international bond market following its US$3.2bn default in 2008. The country has met financing needs through bilateral credit deals, mostly with China.

The Pacífico refinery is expected to produce 300,000b/d and lower Ecuador's petroleum costs. The OPEC nation produces around 500,000b/d but imports oil products due to its low refining capacity.

Bidding and initial construction began last month.

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