Venezuela PDVSA unit eyes up to $600 mln to overhaul Aruba refinery

miércoles 22 de junio de 2016 14:34 GYT

By Alexandra Ulmer

CARACAS, June 22 (Reuters) - Citgo Petroleum, the U.S. unit of Venezuela's PDVSA, will likely invest about $400 million to $600 million to overhaul Aruba's refinery under a 25-year lease with the Caribbean island's government, a top PDVSA official said on Wednesday.

Citgo earlier this month signed the agreement to reactivate the 235,000-barrel-per-day refinery, which would help process the South American's oil producer's extra-heavy crude.

The previous operator, Valero Energy Corp, idled the refinery in 2012 because of its low profit.

"We're eyeing investments in the refinery that would be more or less between $400 (million) and $600 million," Jesus Luongo, vice president of refining, trade and supply, said in an interview on the sidelines of an oil workers' rally in support of the leftist government of Nicolas Maduro.

PDVSA President Eulogio Del Pino told Reuters earlier this month that Citgo was raising money from international banks to fund the project.

Luongo declined to say how much Citgo was seeking.

PDVSA's finances have declined with the slump in oil prices, but Citgo enjoyed some relief last year from higher refining margins.

The Aruba complex could be up and running again within 1-1/2 to two years, Citgo has said.   Continuación...