Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA is planning to invest at least US$4bn in the 400,000 barrel-a-day (b/d) Cabruta refinery to boost the country's refining capacity by 2010, PDVSA's deputy president of refining Alejandro Granado told BNamericas.
To meet an expected refining capacity deficit of 4.6Mb/d by 2010, PDVSA is investing in deep conversion units at its existing refineries and is promoting the construction of three new refineries that would total some 500,000b/d capacity, adding 15% to its existing 3.3Mb/d global refining capacity.
The new refinery projects are Caripito, Barinas and Cabruta, all of which are near the Orinoco belt.
Cabruta "could be in the vicinity of US$4bn, which will process 400,000b/d of crude from the Orinoco oil belt," Granado said. The extra-heavy crude will be used to make "gasoline and diesel of export quality," he added.
The other two refineries, Caripito and Barinas, will be smaller, less ambitious projects, the cost of which "we are still estimating," Granado said.
"The Caripito refinery will be a smaller refinery, with 50,000b/d [capacity] for the production of asphalt, and Barinas will also be a small [50,000b/d] refinery oriented to the production of less complex fuels," Granado said.
PDVSA will finance the three refineries from its own financial resources, Granado added.