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Jamaica, Venezuela sign Petrojam Refinery Expansion agreement

Published:Friday | February 17, 2017 | 10:00 AM

The Governments of Jamaica and Venezuela have signed an agreement to execute the Petrojam Refinery Expansion Project which will cost approximately $1 billion.

The agreement was signed in Caracas on Wednesday.

Venezuelan president, Nicholás Maduro, hailed the signing as a most significant step in a long journey and one that would promote growth, development and partnership.

The Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley signed on behalf of the Jamaican government while Group General Manager, Winston Watson, signed on behalf of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.

The Jamaican government through Petrojam owns 51 per cent of the refinery while Venezuela owns 49 per cent.

The expansion will increase Jamaica’s national oil refinery’s crude oil capacity from 36,000 barrels of oil per day to 50,000 barrels per day.

It will also involve the addition of enhancements to the Marcus Garvey Drive based plant.

The project will be executed by SINOHYDRO Corporation Limited which will undertake financing, engineering, procurement and construction.

The next steps will involve the establishment of a task force comprised of five representatives from either country, within the next month.

The team will have responsibility for finalising contractual arrangements with SINOHYDRO for project execution.

Wheatley says the upgrading of Jamaica’s oil refinery is the bedrock of the joint venture partnership with the Government of Venezuela. 

He says it’s pivotal to securing energy for growth and economic development.

He says while the groundwork took a long time, the parties will now be moving expeditiously to finalise arrangements so the real work can begins.