August 19, 2022 [bnamericas] – Tests on the 18 processing plants at Mexico’s Olmeca oil refinery have begun, with energy minister Rocío Nahle saying work to integrate the central rack is now underway.
An energy ministry (Sener) video presented Monday featured Nahle at the plant touring pipe assemblies connecting the central storage tank to various plants, adding full integration will entail thousands of kilometers of pipe works.
“We had the construction stage, which was [inaugurated] July 1 for all the critical equipment, but integration is a fundamental aspect of the engineering,” Nahle said.
A Sener statement said Nahle gave Lee Jae Yong, a VP at Samsung Group, a tour of the works on Saturday.
Samsung’s Mexican engineering subsidiary was one of the largest private sector contractors involved in the sprawling refinery near Dos Bocas, Tabasco state.
The Korean group became the main contractor on EPC packages 2 and 3 at the plant.
Sener added the current integration phase would last at least six months with fuel processing at the plant set to begin in 1Q23.
Olmeca will have nameplate capacity to process 340,000b/d of heavy crude from 22° to 24° API. It is due to produce 170,000b/d of gasoline and 120,000b/d of ultra-low sulfur diesel.
However, criticism has mounted over cost overruns and the possibility of first production still being years away.
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