The project also includes a petrochemical hub. The ventures will be located at the ZPE Ceará.
Refinery to be implemented in the Export Processing Zone will devote its production to the international market, changing the initial plans foreseen when Petrobras was still conducting the refinery plant installation project.
Fortaleza/São Paulo. After more than two years of closing Petrobras’s project to build a refinery in Ceará, the efforts to capture an oil refinery enters in a new phase on Wednesday (6) when the governor Camilo Santana signs in São Paulo, together with the CEO of the China Development Bank and representatives of the Chinese company Qingdao Xinytian Chemical, a Memorandum of Understanding in which the CDB shows interest in financing the work, estimated at about US$ 7,5 billion.
The whole project includes a refinery and a petrochemical hub, both installed in the Export Processing Zone (ZPE) of Ceará. This is because the production of both ventures will be destined to the foreign market.
"I am very optimistic.I will be in São Paulo with the president of the China Development Bank and the company interested in building the refinery here in Ceará. We will sign a memorandum of understanding where the bank is making available the intention to finance the refinery project. This is one of the richest banks in the world and it is already analyzing the project” says the governor Camilo Santana during a conversation by social networks.
The memorandum of understanding would be divided as follows: US$ 4 billion would be allocated to the first phase of the Ceará refinery; US$ 500 million would be for the construction of a new oil terminal or the expansion of the Multi-Purpose Terminal (Tmut) of the Port of Pecém; US$ 4 billion for the second phase of the refinery; and another US$ 3 billion for the construction of a petrochemical industry. The refinery would have the capacity to refine, in each of its phases, 150,000 barrels of oil per day.
The plants that will house the refinery and the petrochemical complex in the ZPE are expected to generate approximately 2.7 thousand direct jobs in the initial phase of construction. The forecast is from the Secretary of State International Affairs, Antonio Balhmann. "The Chinese company Qingdao Xinyutian Chemical wants to build the plants in just 17 months and set a record for itself that is 19 months. I believe we can have the refinery ready in two years to start work already next year, Balhmann said. According to him, the launch of the project of the two complexes by the Chinese is scheduled for August 2018.
The Chinese are also keeping an eye on another refinery project abandoned by Petrobras. This is the Premium I, in Maranhão, which, according to Márcio Felix, secretary of Oil, Gas and Biofuels of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), must be conducted by a company from China. The only difference with the project in Ceará is that the focus on the refining plant will be the domestic market.
Concerning the Governor’s commitment tomorrow, with the signing of the Memorandum, according to Balhmann the State places itself as a partner of the refinery project. “The state government enters with 10% of the value related to the land and may sell such shareholding in the future. This phase is a settlement of the Chinese bank and the government. That means the conclusion of the institutional and business circuit around the project” added the head of the Secretary for International Affairs.
"The next step is to have the project evaluated by the bank before taking any decision.
From this point on, with the interest of the CDB, the refinery project could be launched by August of next year” said Balhmann.
The same bank coveted by Camilo Santana to finance the refinery, has settled with Petrobras a financing agreement worth US$ 5 billion and maturing in 2027. The state company informs that has also signed a commercial agreement with Unipec Asia Company, establishing the preferential supply of a total volume of 100 thousand barrels of oil per day for 10 years.
According to the company, the agreement with the CDB provides for the disbursement of half of the amount in December 2017 and the other half in January 2018, when the debit balance of US$ 2.8 billion will prepay for the loan contracted in 2009 with the bank. In addition, Petrobras says, the prepayment will cease in advance the commercial agreement signed with Unipec in 2009, falling due in 2019, for the preferential supply of a total volume of up to 200 thousand barrels of oil per day.
The state governor also informed that next Friday (8) will participate in a lunch at the Federation of Industries of the State of Ceará (Fiec). "I am going to give a lecture about the accountability of government actions and the results of the indicators Ceará achieved in relation to the issue of public finances and investments", said Camilo Santana.
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