Published On: Thu, Jun 12th, 2014

Curacao, Venezuela in talks to upgrade oil refinery

Oil refineryWILLEMSTAD - Curacao’s government has signed an agreement with Venezuela’s national oil company to seek a new third-party investor to upgrade the 96-year-old Isla Refinery, officials said.

The refinery is owned by the government of Curacao but leased to Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. under an agreement that expires in 2019.

The facility needs massive levels of new investment, and representatives from both parties believe the best way to secure it is to partner with a third party to bring in new monies.

On May 30, Asdrúbal Chávez, a PDVSA vice president and cousin to former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, met with Curacao leaders, refinery managers and union representatives to discuss the facility’s future.

At the meeting, which was closed to the press, parties signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to seek outside investors.

The amount sought wasn’t discussed, but it could be as much as $1.5 billion, Helmin Weils, a leader of Curacao’s Sovereign People’s Party, said in 2012.

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