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Friday, October 20 2017 @ 01:12 AM EDT

Another Refinery Project, This Time In Colon

Infrastructure Upgrades By Manuel Luna for La Estrella - Another project to construct a petroleum refinery in Panama appeared on the scene yesterday. This time it's a project that would cost more than $6 billion dollars and would be constructed in Colon. A partnership of North American and European capital is behind the project which has been programmed for the end of 2007 or the start of 2008. Negotiations on the project started in March of 2006 and sources close to the project indicate that the capital to build the refinery are available. They say the new refinery will be environmentally friendly and will be built using the most advanced technology available. In addition to this plan the government has several other projects in the works, to include the agreement signed on Tuesday with the government of Qatar and the American company Western Petroleum (Oxy) to construct a refinery in Puerto Armuelles in the province of Chiriquí. The studies for the second phase of this project will cost between $15 and $20 million dollars.

Editor's Comment: Building refineries in Panama has suddenly become fashionable. Well, not really. Oil executives don't make decisions based on what's cool but rather what's on the bottom line. There are several factors making Panama attractive to the oil companies. First of all, Panama is still only about 50 miles wide from Atlantic to Pacific. The expansion of the Panama Canal will allow for larger ships to pass through, including bigger tankers. In the short term there are several refineries that are off-line or operating at reduced capacities in the United States due to fires or upgrades for maintanence. Getting permits and permissions to build refineries in the United States has to be a trememdously expensive. Also building costs (particularly, labor) is going to be much higher. The guys who own and operate the refineries have a lot of capital and they understand the long-term projections - the demand for fuel is not going to be going down any time soon. Once you have a refinery operating you can always scale back throughput when the economics dictate, but you can't just snap your fingers and create new capacity when you find that you're lacking. Given the amount of available capital building new refineries makes sense, and given all of the other factors building them in Panama makes even more sense. In the end, off of those economic fundamentals translate into good (great, wonderful, fantastic) news for Panama. Now, we're going to be needing more hookers to keep those oil executives happy... (grin)

Surge proyecto para otra refinería de petróleo

Manuel Luna mluna@estrelladepanama.com

Otro proyecto para construir una refinería de petróleo en Panamá apareció ayer en el panorama nacional. En esta ocasión se trata de un proyecto que tendrá una inversión que supera los seis mil millones de dólares y el lugar escogido para su construcción es la provincia de Colón.

Un consorcio de capital norteamericano y europeo está detrás del proyecto, el cual ha sido programado para finales del presente año o los primeros días del 2008.

Las negociaciones para llevar a cabo el proyecto se iniciaron en marzo del año pasado y se informó que ya se cuenta con el capital para emprender la construcción millonaria.

Fuentes cercanas a los inversionistas señalaron que la nueva refinería será de tipo ecológica, y contará con la tecnología más avanzada en esta materia.

Además de este plan, el gobierno mantiene en el tapete otras propuestas e incluso, el martes, firmó un acuerdo con el gobierno de Qatar y la empresa estadounidense Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) para construir una refinería en Puerto Armuelles, provincia de Chiriquí, cuya segunda fase se calcula que costará entre 15 y 20 millones de dólares.

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