Aruba Receives Refinery, Development Proposals

(Argus, 31.Jul.2020) — The government of Aruba received proposals to refurbish its refinery and develop alternative industries on the brownfield site.

RdA, the state-owned asset holder, received 29 proposals out of 57 initial registrations for the first option of refurbishing the 235,000 b/d San Nicolas refinery, which was formerly owned by Valero.

In a parallel tender, RdA received 25 proposals out of 44 registrants for a second option for alternative developments such as petrochemicals, LNG, transhipment and renewable energy on the site.

Among the companies that submitted proposals for both options was India’s Essar, Venezuelan engineering firm Inelectra and Swiss engineering firm Litwin. Colombia’s gas distributor Promigas submitted a proposal for the refinery refurbishment option.

RdA said it would proceed to evaluate the proposals, without providing a timeline for a decision.

The dismantled refinery was supposed to be refurbished by Citgo, the US refining arm of Venezuelan state-owned PdV, under a long-term lease with the company’s US holding company. The $1.1bn project collapsed after PdV’s US subsidiaries were taken over by Venezuela’s US-supported political opposition.

In a separate development, RdA is currently finalizing details of a contract with an unnamed party for an oil storage lease.

Aruba used be part of PdV’s nearshore logistical network, before the Venezuelan company’s operations receded on the back of reduced domestic production and exports, unpaid debts and political turmoil.

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By Patricia Garip