According to its "I Semester 2008 Management Report," PDVSA's PetroCaribe program plans to build a 150,000-b/d refinery in the Cuban city of Matanzas that will be equipped to process heavy crude oils. PetroCaribe supports energy ventures and social programs in Central America and the Caribbean and provides Venezuela's allies in the region with crude oil at preferential terms.
The $4.3-billion deep conversion refinery is in the pre-commissioning phase, according to the report. It is the third PDVSA-led refining project in Cuba, and it would strengthen the island country's role as Venezuela's key energy distribution hub in the Caribbean region. The report did not elaborate on major process units, contract awards, refinery products, or other matters.
According to the July 2008 PetroCaribe report, the project will create 5,000 direct construction jobs and 1,260 direct positions once the facility is operational. The refinery is expected to begin operations in 2015.