Tula, Hidalgo — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador reported that construction work on the coker has already resumed at the Tula refinery in Hidalgo, which was one of the projects tainted by the Odebrecht corruption.
He said his government promised to opt for the “straightening of wrongs” by cleaning up the investment and finishing the project to prevent the purchased goods from turning into scrap metal.
The refinery will serve to produce gasoline instead of fuel oil, which coincides with the global plan to refine petroleum products to sell finished products.
“With this coker we are going to have the fuels that the domestic market demands, that is, we are no longer going to buy gasoline abroad,” he emphasized.
He reported that the total investment is 60 billion pesos and the commitment is to conclude everything before the end of 2023.
On social networks, AMLO posted that the project will generate 8,000 jobs and will boost production by 30,000 additional barrels of gasoline.
A new refinery was one of the more ambitious investment projects of the government of Felipe Calderón, who on the 70th anniversary of the oil expropriation of March 18, 2008, said that the complex would be part of a plan to face the global crisis and announced a initial budget of $12 billion dollars.
In its 2014-2018 Business Plan, Petróleos Mexicanos did not contemplate the construction of the new refinery. The document argued that with or without energy reform, the construction of the complex, whose cost was evaluated at $10 billion dollars, was ruled out due to limited resources from the parastatals and allocation to more profitable projects.
Pemex recognized that during the planning and design of the project, there were unforeseeable delays including first, the delivery of land and later, the identification of archaeological remains.
However, that same year, contracts were awarded to Odebrecht to prepare the land, which ultimately led to acts of corruption and overpricing.
As then-president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that in 2019, five billion pesos would be invested to rehabilitate the Tula refinery, which would provide employment in the state of Hidalgo.
It is part of the president’s plan to reactivate refining capacity in the country, which also includes the Dos Bocas refinery in Tabasco.