Reficar expansion approved by board, to be completed in 2013

- Friday, October 23, 2009

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Plans to expand and modernize Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol's Cartagena refinery (Reficar) were approved by the refinery's board of directors, Ecopetrol said in a statement.

The expansion is expected to cost US$3.8bn and will double the plant's capacity to 165,000b/d. Works are expected to be completed in the first half of 2013, the statement said.

The modernized plant will enable a high conversion rate, a recovery of valuable products rate greater than 95% and the production of fuels with low sulfur content, according to the statement.

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In addition, the modernized refinery will allow integration with the petrochemical industry and will allow Reficar to offer a basket of competitive products in premium markets, meeting the highest national and international environmental standards.

Ecopetrol in May completed the purchase of a 51% stake held in the Reficar JV that had been set up to expand the Cartagena refinery from Switzerland's Glencore.

Ecopetrol now has a 100% stake in the expansion project. The Swiss firm had been unable to finance its share of the project.