MOSCOW (MRC) -- Curacao expects to receive final proposals from companies interested in leasing its 330,000 bpd oil refinery by the end of February, the latest attempt to restart the plant after Venezuela's PDVSA ceased operations there in 2018, reported Reuters.
A committee to find a company interested in operating the Caribbean facility late last year selected a short list of firms willing to move ahead with a proposal, Curacao's state-run Refineria di Korsou (RdK) said in a press release on Friday.
"These companies are currently conducting evaluations... Site visits at the refinery and the (neighboring) terminal located at Bullenbaai should also be expected to take place during the upcoming weeks," the statement said.
RdK did not disclose the names of companies interested.
In May 2021, the refinery said it had reached an agreement with CORC B.V. to operate the plant and the oil terminal, but the pact fell apart amid negotiations on fiscal terms.
Prior deals with industrial conglomerate Klesch Group and oil firm SPS Drilling E&P to operate the refinery and lease a portion of the 15-MM-bbl terminal respectively were also terminated over disagreements about terms and fees.
A payment dispute between PDVSA and US oil producer ConocoPhillips led to the plant being idled in 2018, and the Venezuelan company's long-term lease expired at the end of 2019. Attempts to resume operations have failed since.
As MRC wrote previously, Venezuelan petrochemicals produced by joint ventures between state-run chemical firm Pequiven and foreign partners arrived in the United States in November, 2021, despite Washington's efforts to limit trade with the OPEC oil and gas producer. At least two cargoes of methanol, a widely used industrial product whose prices have soared this year, have discharged at Houston area ports since October amid a rapid expansion of the South American country's global sales of petrochemicals and oil byproducts, according to tanker tracking and US customs data.
From January to October, 2021, PDVSA and Pequiven exported about 1.75 MM tons of petrochemicals and byproducts, putting the trade on track this year to double the 1.03 MM tons exported for the whole of 2020, according to the internal data.
According to MR''s ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,265,290 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2021, up by 14% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.