CB&I responsible for Reficar renovation cost increases, refinery says
BOGOTA Feb 15 (Reuters) - Contractor Chicago Bridge and Iron NV is responsible for the doubling of construction costs during the renovation of Colombia's Reficar refinery, the refinery said on Monday, amid accusations that bad management increased spending on the project by some $4 billion.
The refinery, part of state-run oil company Ecopetrol , reopened late last year after a multi-billion-dollar overhaul meant to more than double its capacity to 165,000 barrels per day.
The $8 billion price tag was twice the $3.99 billion initial estimate.
The budget and schedule for the project were prepared by CB&I, the refinery said in a statement on Monday, which had assured Reficar they were exact and reliable.
"The development of the project confirms that said budget and schedule were not prepared correctly, nor precisely," Reficar said.
The refinery had brought up the increased costs with the contractor at the time, it said. The Colombian government said last week it is preparing a complaint against the contractor.
Texas and Netherlands-based CB&I did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
"We categorically reject accusations that the difference (in costs) that has occurred is due to embezzlement or is the product of corruption," the refinery said. (Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)
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