According to Alejandro Granado, PDVSA’s Vice President, the state-owned oil company will build three new refineries in Venezuela known as the Cabruta, Caripito, and Santa Ines refineries. The construction of these plants is to begin simultaneously after PDVSA finishes with the concept engineering of each refinery for their startup in 2009 which will add a total of 500 thousand barrels of oil production per day to PDVSA’s current production capacity.
The construction of these new refineries is a part of Venezuela’s new energy policy which was implemented by President Chavez in 2005, and consists of two stages: one from 2005 to 2012 and another from 2012 to 2030. This energy policy includes six major projects that will be performed in conjunction with Petrocaribe of Venezuela, which is a Caribbean oil alliance with Venezuela launched in 2005 to purchase their oil on conditions of preferential payment, and Petrosur (Venezuelan as well), which is a Latin American oil alliance between Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. The Magna Reserve, the Orinoco Project, the Delta-Caribbean Project, the Refining Project, the Infrastructure Project, and the Integration Project are all the names for the six specific development projects included in the energy policy.
On the one hand, SNC Lavalin (Quebec, Canada) has already started with the concept engineering for the Cabruta Refinery located in Guarico, Venezuela. PDVSA will invest $6 billion in the construction of the Cabruta refinery, which will have a production capacity of 400 thousand barrels of heavy and extra heavy crude oil from the Orinoco Belt region per day. Most of its fuels, such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, will be used to meet the demand of exports to the rest of the world. At the same time, the Caripito (Monagas, Venezuela) and Santa Ines Refineries’ (Barinas, Venezuela) concept engineering will be developed by Intervep (Caracas, Venezuela). The Caripito refinery will have the production capacity of 50 thousand barrels of crude oil per day. This $500 million investment will be used to produce asphalt mainly for exports. The Santa Ines refinery will also have a production capacity of 50 thousand barrels per day production capacity, but this $1 billion investment will produce 15,000 b/d of asphalt, 6,000 b/d of diesel fuel, 16,000 b/d of gasoline and jet fuel, and 11,000 b/d of VGO and is mostly expected to be used for internal consumption.
PDVSA has also incorporated high levels of technology into their investments by using HDH Plus in all of the refineries in order to get up to a 90 percent recovery. This type of technology was developed by the PDVSA subsidiary Intervep, and is used to convert heavy oil and extra heavy crude into products such as gasoline and diesel fuel. For details view related May 11, 2006, news article — PDVSA’s Investment to Improve the Puerto La Cruz Refinery in Venezuela.
The construction of these refineries together with the introduction of the HDS Plus technology will allow these plants to improve the quality of PDVSA’s products and to pursue the fulfillment of Venezuela’s “Plan de Siembra Petrolera,” which is a general goal to gain new markets around the world in order to more specifically benefit the country by the year 2030. This will give Venezuela the possibility to strengthen its position in the world, especially at a time when product demand, quality, and availability are more difficult to find than ever.