The newest oil refinery in Mexico is now expected to work at half capacity by the middle of 2023.
The Mexican president said on Friday that the state oil company Pemex’s newest refinery will reach half of its crude processing capacity in July. This is the latest change to the project’s timeline.
When it opens, the Olmeca oil refinery, which is being built next to the Dos Bocas port, will be Pemex’s eighth. It is a key part of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s plan to make Mexico self-sufficient in gasoline and diesel. This would mean that the country would no longer have to import a lot of gasoline and diesel, mostly from the U.S.
Lopez Obrador said that the refinery in his home state, Tabasco, was built in “world record time.” He also said that it would start processing 170,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) on July 1.
Lopez Obrador said on Twitter that it would process its full capacity of 340,000 barrels per day (bpd) and produce 280,000 bpd of gasoline and diesel by September 15, the day before Mexico’s Independence Day.
The president didn’t say if the refinery would make gasoline or diesel before July 1, or if that would be the date when the first barrels of crude would be processed there.
At the symbolic opening of the Gulf Coast facility last July, Energy Minister Rocio Nahle said that the first barrel of fuel would be made at Olmeca this month, in December.
The president has made running Pemex the most important part of his energy plan, even though critics have questioned the economic sense of the new facility, whose cost was originally estimated to be around $8 billion but has since risen to more than $15.4 billion.
Since he took office in late 2018, when he was a leftist, the Olmeca refinery has been one of the most important public works projects he has worked on. At first, he said it would start making money this year.