Curacao ends contract with PDVSA to operate Isla refinery

Dec 30 (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA’s contract to operate Curacao’s 335,000-barrel-per-day Isla refinery will end on Dec. 31, despite an earlier agreement to extend the contract by a year, the Caribbean island’s authorities said.

Earlier this month, the two parties reached a deal for PDVSA to remain for up to a year as state refining company Refineria de Koursou (RdK) continued to search for a new operator. But last week RdK and industrial commodities conglomerate Klesch Group finalized a deal to take over the refinery.

Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath said PDVSA had not agreed to Curacao’s proposals that it continue to operate the refinery for three to six months, rather than one year.

“There will be no transition with PDVSA,” Rhuggenaath told reporters late on Sunday night. “We have not received a reasonable proposal from PDVSA.”

PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Isla’s managing director Marcelino de Lannoy said RdK would take over operations at the refinery for at least six months until Klesch can take charge. (Reporting by Sailu Urribarri Writing by Luc Cohen, Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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