Operations normal at Cartagena refinery despite labour strike

20 September 2013 22:08  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Operations were uninterrupted on Friday at Ecopetrol’s Cartagena refinery following a strike by construction workers that halted the $6.47bn (€4.79) expansion project, Refineria de Cartagena (Reficar) said.

"The Cartagena refinery is operating at full capacity, processing 80,000 bbls/day," Reficar said. "The strike is not with Ecopetrol nor Reficar; it is with CBI Colombiana, a contractor working on the expansion."

The USO, an oil sector labour union, says it wants wage increases of up to 43% depending upon job function.

The work stoppage follows weeks of labour disruptions in the coal mining, trucking, coffee and cocoa sectors.

Chicago Bridge and Iron (CB&I), the US company working on the expansion of the refinery, did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment.

CB&I and the union continue to negotiate to reach a deal to suspend the strike and for workers to return to their jobs, the union and Reficar said.

The project aims to expand the Cartagena refinery to 165,000 bbl/day from its current capacity of 80,000 bbl/day.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Leela Landress
+1 713 525 2653

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