Cuba To Boost Refining Capacity
Monday, June 30, 2008
Cuba will increase its capacity for refining crude by close to 30,000 barrels per day with the expansion of the Santiago de Cuba refinery being carried out by the authorities of the island and of Venezuela, the country that is financing the project.
Cuba's Foreign Investment Minister Marta Lomas said Friday on state television that the goal is to "get the Santiago refinery processing 50,000 barrels per day, more than double its current capacity, and make it capable of processing higher quality products."
According to government officials, the refinery in Cuba's second largest city, located on the eastern end of the island, currently has a refining capacity of some 22,000 barrels per day.
Also among the works planned for that province will be a cement factory which, according to the minister, "will be the basis for the development of all the other new works in the eastern provinces."
Lomas did not specify when the Santiago refinery will start producing 50,000 bpd which, added to the 70,000 processed by the Cienfuegos refinery in the central part of the country, will increase Cuba's crude processing capacity to more than 120,000 bpd.
The Cienfuegos refinery was reinaugurated last December after being resuscitated in 2005 through a joint venture of the state-run oil companies CUPET of Cuba and Venezuela's PDVSA, with an estimated investment of $1.4 billion and the eventual goal of increasing its capacity to 150,000 bpd by 2013.
The reopening took place during the 4th Petrocaribe Summit in the presence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the then-provisional president of Cuba, Gen. Raul Castro, the official head of state since last Feb. 24.
Chavez and Castro at that time signed an accord to expand the Hermanos Diaz Refinery in Santiago, as well as to develop the petrochemical industry in eastern Cuba and to reactivate the Matanzas-Santiago oil pipeline.
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