Thursday, 19 Apr 2018
Business

Is the AMLO proposal on importing gasoline viable?

They are required more than 11 billion dollars for the reconfiguration and construction of new refineries In addition, it would take more than a six-year term, according to experts from the energy sector. Eduardo Núñez, managing partner of Núñez Rodríguez Abogados, specialized firm in the hydrocarbons sector, explained that only assembling feasibility studies and the executive project of a new refinery takes between three and four years, two more for detailed engineering and whatever the construction takes. “Achieving financing, demonstrating that the project is truly fundable, is a challenge” , He said. The proposal of the candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is to build two refineries, with an investment of between 6 billion and 10 billion dollars in three years. Further, it would stop importing gasoline and no longer sell a single barrel of crude oil abroad. Pablo Medina, vice president of the analysis firm Welligence Energy Analytics, explained that building refineries in three years is very optimistic and even unrealistic. “The desire to refine to refine does not make sense, what you have to do is how value is generated and that is, if importing is the cheapest option there is generating value” he commented. Before building refineries, he said, The first step is to reconfigure the current ones so that they use crude oils that generate more products. A new refinery takes five to eight years. Alfredo Álvarez, leading partner of the EY energy sector, explained that in the United States since 1977 no new refinery is built and they have the capacity to spare Mexico. The specialist questioned that the construction of two new refineries translate into better prices for the consumer, because the refining margins are low. Last week, REFORMA published that López Obrador promised that in case of winning the elections will freeze energy prices in the first three years of his Government to then lower them, for which refineries will be built in Dos Bocas, Tabasco and Atasta, Campeche and existing ones will be reconfigured. Specialists estimated that only the reconfiguration of the two refineries that Pemex has pending demand at least 6 billion dollars and another 6 billion dollars to build a new refinery. Pemex has pending the reconfigurations of Salina Cruz, Salamanca and a part of Tula. It is expected that by 2021 the production of the current six refineries will increase to 394 thousand barrels per day of gasoline, when the demand will be 734 thousand barrels per day, according to data from the Secretary of Energy (Sener).

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