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Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA will invest US$8.4bn in two new heavy oil refining projects, according to state news service AVN.
The first project involves an investment of US$5.4bn in a revamp of the Puerto La Cruz refinery located in the country's Anzoátegui state, through which HDH Plus technology will be installed at the facility.
HDH Plus was developed by the company's R&D unit Intevep as a specialty refining method for Venezuela's trademark heavy and extra-heavy sour crude oils.
Through a process called hydroconversion, HDH Plus transforms heavy and residual oil into lighter, high quality products with low sulfur and nitrogen content. The technology will allow PDVSA to refine crudes to lower API gravities.
The second project involves an investment of US$3bn expanding the El Palito refinery, located in Carabobo state. Gasoline production capacity at the site will be expanded from 140,000b/d to 280,000b/d.
PDVSA plans to invest a total of US$18.8bn adding up to 670,000b/d in new domestic refining capacity through the end of 2017.