Ecuador said on Wednesday it expects to sign a contract in June for the construction of a refinery known as the Refineria del Pacifico Eloy Alfaro, which will be the largest single infrastructure project in the country’s history.
Brazilian company Odebrecht is currently preparing the site where the refinery will be built. Ecuador’s Minister of Strategic Sectors, Rafael Poveda, said that the work is 85% complete and will be ready by June, at which point a builder for the refinery will be chosen.
The refinery is a joint project between state-owned Petroecuador and its Venezuelan counterpart, Petroleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA. China National Petroleum Corp., China’s largest oil and gas producer, is expected to become a partner in the project.
Ecuador has been negotiating with China National Petroleum and the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China since 2011 to raise financing for the project, which was announced in 2007.
Currently Petroecuador has a 51% stake in the project and PdVSA has 49%. Last June China National Petroleum Corp, or CNPC, signed a framework agreement with Ecuador to take a 30% share in the project, with Petroecuador maintaining its 51% and PdVSA having a 19% stake.