China, Korea shows interest in Ecuador’s joint refinery project: Correa

June 2nd, 2008 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Quito, June 2 (IANS) Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has said China and South Korea have expressed interest in investing in a joint petrochemical project undertaken by Ecuador and Venezuela, Spain’s EFE news agency reported. He said during a weekly radio programme Saturday that he met the representatives of the Venezuelan state-owned oil giant PDVSA last week to discuss the progress on the Refineria del Pacifico Project.

Correa and his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, plan to lay the refinery’s cornerstone July 7 in Manabi, a coastal province in western Ecuador.

The project has attracted “the interest of the Koreans and the Chinese”, Correa said, adding that the Asian nations would be an important market for the petroleum products produced by the refinery.

Refineria del Pacifico, with a capacity to process 300,000 barrels of crude per day, would allow Ecuador to meet the domestic demand for gasoline as well as for export.

He said the petrochemical complex would also produce urea, fertilizer and solvents.

Ecuador, which produces some 550,000 bpd of crude, is the fifth-largest oil producer in Latin America.

Fifty-five percent of its total production comes from the state-owned Petroecuador and the rest from around a dozen foreign companies that operate in the Andean nation.

Oil is Ecuador’s main export item and 35 percent of government spending comes from the revenues generated from its sale.

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