MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones)
The chief official of Mexico's state-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Wednesday the company will move forward with plans for a new refinery in the central state of Hidalgo and will spend 5.7 billion pesos ($452.4 million) this year on basic engineering and other costs associated with the first phase of construction.
Pemex CEO Juan Jose Suarez met with the governor of Hidalgo, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, to outline progress in planning for the new refinery to be built near an existing one in Tula, Hidalgo, the company said in a statement.
It will be called the Tula Bicentenary refinery because 2010 marks 200 years since Mexico's independence fight from Spain.
The public works project is one of the most important in the administration of President Felipe Calderon and has been budgeted to 2015. Its total cost is estimated at MXN129 billion, Pemex said.
Hidalgo officials are finalizing the acquisition of the land for the project, Pemex said, working with federal agencies to preserve pre-Hispanic archaeological sites.
Pemex has been importing about 350,000 barrels a day on average of gasoline so far this year, most of it from the U.S. It has been selling about 794,000 barrels of gasoline per day on average for domestic consumption so far this year.
Some analysts have suggested Pemex could save money by using underutilized U.S. refineries rather than building a new facility of its own. Pemex has a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell PLC at a refinery in Deer Park, Texas, and six of its own refineries in Mexico.
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