May 9, 2019 / 8:27 PM / in a year

Mexico's government budgets $5.9 bln for new refinery - Energy Secretary

MEXICO CITY, May 9 (Reuters) - Mexico’s energy secretary Rocio Nahle said on Thursday that the government has budgeted an investment of 50 billion pesos ($2.6 billion) in 2020 and 64 billion pesos in 2021 for a new refinery at the port of Dos Bocas.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said earlier in the day that Pemex will oversee construction of the refinery, dismissing private sector suitors for the project and fueling fresh doubts about the financial health of the cash-strapped state oil firm.

The fact that the firms invited to bid on the project said they could not meet the $8 billion price tag and 3-year timeline “validates our concerns” that the Mexican government’s estimates are “optimistic,” said Moody’s Investors Service Senior VP Peter Speer.

$1 = 19.2219 Mexican pesos Reporting by Diego Ore and Sharay Angulo, writing by Anthony Esposito Editing by Susan Thomas

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