The construction phase of Suriname state oil company Staatsolie's US$700mn refinery expansion has begun, according to information from the NOC.
The project entails construction of a new refinery to process high quality fuels from Saramacca crude, including premium diesel, gasoline, fuel oil and asphalt bitumen, for local sale. Sulfuric acid will be produced for export.
Throughput will increase to 15,000b/d from 7,200b/d and cut dependence on imports, according to the company.
Staatsolie said close to 60% of the detailed engineering was completed in 2011 and that manufacturing of the modules has begun abroad, with the goal of starting operations by end-2014. Saipem holds a US$424mn EPC contract for the modules.
Other contractors working on the project include Ballast Nedam which holds a general civil and steel piling works contract worth some 25mn euros (US$32.8mn).
The refinery processed 2.63Mb Saramacca crude in 2011, a little over the previous year's performance, added the company. Last year's sales of Staatsolie diesel, fuel oil and bitumen rose 2% compared to 2010.
"Approximately 5% of the refinery's production was sold locally, while the rest was exported to Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad, Curacao and Jamaica. Bitumen exports to French Guiana, Guyana and Trinidad increased with 87%, while local demand, due to large infrastructural projects, was covered entirely," said the NOC.
Staatsolie also reported it has processed three fuel shipments from Venezuela's PDVSA under the latter country's Petrocaribe energy cooperation initiative. The first delivery arrived in January with 30,000b diesel and 10,000b gasoline.