QUITO (Dow Jones)
Petroleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA, will have 49% of the shares in the Refineria del Pacifico-CEM, a company that will be established with Petroecuador to build a new refinery for heavy crude, Petroecuador said Monday.
In a press release, state-owned Petroecuador said that the company will be established this month. It will hold 51% of the company's shares.
The refinery would process around 300,000 barrels of heavy crude a day and could require at least a $4 billion investment.
Refineria del Pacifico will choose a construction company for the new refinery.
The construction company chosen will be expected to finance 70% of the refinery's cost and the remaining 30% will be financed by PdVSA and Petroecuador.
The new refinery project is important for Ecuador, which has to import processed petroleum products such as gasoline because of a lack of refining capacity.
Many of the new oil discoveries in Ecuador are heavy crude and cannot be processed at the country's three existing light-crude refineries.
The new refinery, which will be built in the coastal province of Manabi, is part of a strategy to integrate Latin American companies that began in February 2007, with an agreement to swap Ecuadorian oil for Venezuelan diesel and naphtha.
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