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China-Venezuela commission oversees refinery expansion project

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-15 13:13

CARACAS - The China-Venezuela Joint Commission on Tuesday is reviewing the expansion of the Puerto La Cruz refinery, according to Venezuelan Vice-President of Planning and Knowledge Ricardo Menendez.

This plant, which was located in the northeastern state of Anzoategui and near the Caribbean Sea, has a current capacity of 129,000 barrels of oil per day for internal and external distribution.

"This alliance will raise (capacity) to 210,000 barrels of oil per day, following the vision that (former president) Hugo Chavez had for the Orinoco Oil Belt as the country's main reserve," Menendez told a press conference, who was accompanied by Ning Jizhe, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission of China.

The Puerto La Cruz refinery has seen investment and assistance from a number of countries, including China, which leads the Joint Commission to explore its development.

In 2014, China's Wison Engineering Company signed up to help build the refinery's basic processing units, in a joint venture with Hyundai Engineering and Construction.

Eulogio del Pino, president of Venezuela's national oil company, PDVSA, added that the expansion included an investment of around $10.5 billion.

According to Del Pino, the expansion will be completed in a year and a half, as the work was not stopped even during "the cycle of the lowest oil prices."

On Monday, during the 15th Meeting of the Joint Commission, the governments of China and Venezuela signed over 20 new cooperation agreements in various fields, including economy, energy, finance, trade, education, culture, and science and technology.

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