July 26, 2020 [Argus Media] – Curacao is pressing forward to lease oil storage on the island after terminating a preliminary agreement with European refiner and commodities trader Klesch to take over the operation of its refinery and terminal.
The 335,000 b/d refinery and Bullen Bay terminal used to form part of Venezuelan state-owned PdV’s near-shore logistical network before the company’s long-term lease on the assets expired in December 2019.
The government of the Dutch-controlled island had been hoping that Klesch would step in to restart the refinery, which had been mostly abandoned by PdV as it faced growing economic and political turmoil at home. The refinery is a backbone of the island’s local economy.
Curacao’s state-run RdK, which owns the assets, said late last week it will “initiate a new transparent process in search of a new operator for the oil facilities, in order to ensure a sustainable future for our refinery.”
RdK signed the ill-fated asset purchase and sales agreement with Klesch in December 2019.
Klesch declined to comment.
Only 6mn of 15mn bl of the storage capacity is currently usable because PdV had not kept up maintenance, RdK has said, adding that it is investing to get the remaining storage into usable shape.
Fellow Dutch island Aruba is also seeking to lease storage after the withdrawal of PdV’s US subsidiary Citgo from a refinery refurbishment project.
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