BEIJING (Dow Jones)
Petroleos Mexicanos is considering doubling the capacity of the country's first new refinery in 30 years to 600,000 barrels per day, the chief operating officer of the company, known as Pemex, said Monday.
Raul Livas Elizondo said the official announcement of where the refinery would be located was being delayed as the company was analyzing a plan to double the size of the proposed plant.
This decision is expected to be made by the end of the year, or the first quarter of 2009 at the latest, he added.
Initially, the cost of a new refinery with a capacity of 300,000 barrels a day was pegged at US$6 billion, but Livas Elizondo said the financial crisis meant the actual outlay could be lower.
He expected the market for equipment "to change dramatically" over the next few months, bringing the project costs down.
"There is a need for at least (an additional) processing capacity of 600,000 barrels per day given our current demand trends," Livas Elizondo told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview.
"So we have to see if we do one 600,000 barrels-a-day (refinery) or two times 300,000 barrels per day."
Mexico processes around 1.3 million barrels a day at its six domestic refineries, but the country still imports over 40% of its gasoline.
Livas Elizondo said the new plant would become operational around 2013 - in line with an earlier timetable for construction.
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