Venezuela's El Palito refinery to undergo major maintenance this year-PDVSA

miércoles 28 de enero de 2015 18:53 GYT

CARACAS Jan 28 (Reuters) - PDVSA's 146,000-barrel-a-day El Palito refinery will undergo major maintenance this year, the Venezuelan state oil company said on Wednesday, without giving details.

The refinery on Venezuela's coast will also make improvements in its effluent treatment and sulfur recovery plants, Jesus Luongo, PDVSA's head of refinery operations, said in a company statement. El Palito underwent maintenance last year.

PDVSA and a union leader did not immediately respond to requests for further details.

Venezuela, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has struggled with difficulties at its refinery network in recent years.

El Palito's catcracker went offline last year due to a generation fault, while a blackout at the Amuay and Cardon refineries crimped operations at the major 955,000 bpd complex in western Venezuela.

PDVSA critics say refineries are chronically operating under capacity due to negligence and lack of investments.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro often blames blackouts or accidents on saboteurs out to harm the socialist administration. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)