22 March 2012 15:49 [Source: ICIS news]
MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Mexican state-owned energy producer Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) has postponed the start of the Tula refinery in central Mexico to the first half of 2016, the company confirmed on Thursday.
Previously, it expected to start up the new refinery in 2015.
Because of the complexity of the project, time is needed to make sure the planning, engineering and technical studies are completed, said Juan Jose Suarez Coppel, the general director of Pemex. He made his comments in an interview on a Mexican radio station.
The project has seen delays because of some permitting issues, Suarez Coppel said. But the state government of Hidalgo and the municipalities support the project and expect it to be completed by 2016, he added.
In February, Pemex selected a consortium of companies for a $135m (€103m) contract to design the basic engineering for a new refinery, to be built in central Mexico.
The consortium includes a venture between Mexican construction company ICA and oil services firm Fluor Daniel, Pemex said.
The goal is for the new refinery in Tula, in the state of Hidalgo, to add 300,000 bbl/day of refining capacity, Pemex said in 2009.
The new refinery would help reduce Mexico’s rising US gasoline imports and produce roughly 142,000 bbl/day of gasoline, 82,000 bbl/day diesel and 12,000 bbl/day of jet fuel, all of which will have ultra-low sulphur content, Pemex said at the time.
Pemex wants to increase domestic refining capacity with the Tula plant and with expansions at other existing units.
A fire at the existing Tula refinery killed three in July 2011.
($1 = €0.76)
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