Venezuela, Ecuador to seek bids for new refinery

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, May 13 -- Venezuelan and Ecuadoran state-owned oil and gas companies Petroleos de Venezuela SA and Petroecuador plan to form a joint venture company to build and operate a 300,000 b/d refinery on Ecuador's Pacific Coast.

Petroecuador said the planned Pacific Refinery-CEM, to be owned 51% by Ecuador and 49% by Venezuela, will ask foreign companies to bid on constructing the refinery, requiring them to finance 70% of its construction.

Petroecuador, which did not set a date for bidding to start, said the winner would be compensated after construction, possibly with a fee-for-service payment or a temporary share of the refinery's earnings.

Last year, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said the proposed Pacific refinery, to be built in the coastal province of Manabi, would cost around $5 billion, increasing to $10 billion if the partners decided to add a petrochemical plant on the site.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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