The state-owned oil company of Ecuador, Petroecuador, is planning to spend $3 million to increase La Libertad Refinery’s (Las Guayas, Ecuador) current 42,500 barrels per day production capacity to up to 45,000 barrels per day, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources (www.industrialinfo.com). In order to increase La Libertad Refinery’s production capacity, Industrial Info Resources says Petroecuador will have to improve its general infrastructure and heating systems by installing two new furnaces and increase its disalters’ capacity by installing new ones. According to Ronald Navarrete, the labor representative of La Libertad Refinery, construction has already started and is expected to be finished by the end of 2006.

La Libertad refinery belonged to an English company up until 1989 when it was nationalized and became part of the state-owned oil company called Petroecuador. This refinery produces base oil, diesel 1, diesel 2, jet fuel, turbine fuel, turpentine mineral, and residuals. The refinery has three plants: Parsons Plant with a total 26,000 bbl/d production, Universal Plant 10,000 bbl/d, and Cautivo Plant 9,400 bbl/d.

According to Industrial Info Resources, the refinery processes at a rate of 25 API in crude oil, therefore, they are demanding another $5 million investment on the part of the government for future developments called “Revamping during 2008-2010” to change the refining structure and introduce deep conversion and catalytic areas similar to the De Esmeraldas Refinery in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. This new investment is expected to help La Libertad Refinery reach a daily production capacity of up to 100,000 barrels per day by 2010. According to workers from La Libertad, most of the national budget for hydrocarbon investments is spent on De Esmeralda refinery, and a government decree is required to get the funding to improve La Libertad Refinery.