Venezuela and Iran negotiate a contract to repair the Paraguaná Refining Center

Caracas.- Iranian state-owned companies have begun preparations to repair Venezuela’s largest oil refining complex, the 955,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Paraguaná Refining Center, they told Reuters four people close to the talks, after a contract to repair the El Palito refinery.

The two-refinery complex, which is among the largest in the world, will be repaired through a contract that is now being negotiated, the sources told the agency. The hub, known as CRP, operated at just 17% capacity in April, according to independent estimates.

“In about a year, Iran should be able to bring its people to Paraguaná,” one of the people said. “They have been very focused on preparations, including housing for workers,” she noted.

Earlier this year, Iranian state-owned companies supplied Paraguaná with parts to restart a gasoline manufacturing unit. The equipment, made in North America, arrived in Venezuela from China after the Iranians handled the procurement and transportation, he told Reuters a person with knowledge of the purchase.

Many Chinese companies avoid direct business with Venezuela to reduce sanctions-related risk and only accept deals if a third party handles orders and payments, they added.

Iran has supplied Venezuela with fuel and diluents for making exportable crude grades, and since 2020 has provided parts to repair and upgrade the South American country’s 1.3 million bpd refining network.

A unit of state-owned Iran’s National Oil Refining and Distribution Company (Niordc) this month signed a 110 million euro ($116 million) contract with Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA to repair and expand the 146,000-gallon El Palito refinery. bpd, in the central region of the country.

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With information from Reuters.