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Consortium expresses interest in renovating Esmeraldas refinery in Ecuador

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

As reported by Reuters, a consortium including Hyundai Engineering Co Ltd and KBR Inc has expressed interest in a contract to renovate Ecuador’s 110 000 bpd Esmeraldas refinery, Energy Minister Rene Ortiz and the companies said on Tuesday.

Last year, Ortiz announced the search for a private company to invest around US$2.4 billion in the refinery, owned by state oil company Petroecuador, to boost fuel output at the plant and help the cash-strapped South American country reduce imports of refined products.

The consortium plans to receive financing from Morgan Stanley. It has until February to present a final bid for the project, according to a timeline presented by the energy ministry. The government will make a final decision on awarding the contract in March.

The contract will then be signed in April. The deal is part of President Lenin Moreno’s efforts to boost private investment in Ecuador’s struggling economy. He is set to leave office in May after presidential elections next month.

The consortium also includes Texas-based companies RGFx Initiatives and Energlobal Investment Group.

Neither authorities nor representatives of the four companies who attended a press conference clarified how much the consortium was expected to invest, or the fees the consortium would receive for eventually delivering refined products to the state for domestic sale.

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