The facilities at the new Olmec refinery in Dos Bocas are more similar for a technology complex Compared to the place where crude oil is processed into gasoline and diesel.
They look out through the huge windows immaculate green gardens and sparkling fountainsWhile outside is a constant reminder of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s hopes for the project: four stone pillars inscribed with words.Fourth Change, Revolution, Reform and Freedom’A reference to his plan to revive Mexico.
What’s the only thing missing? refining equipment noise, Although the plant was officially inaugurated this Friday at a ceremony attended by the president himself, the units are designed to extract oil into gasoline remained inactive With the construction team, suggesting that there is still work to be done.
“We are preparing to stop importing gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, become self-sufficient, create jobs in the country and dedicate these fuels to the internal market and national development,” said López Obrador, with the Secretary of Energy . , Rocio Nahle, and Octavio Romero Oropeza, CEO of Petroles Mexicanos.
AMLO ‘brag’ about oil bet
Friday’s ceremony, which started hours late, was an opportunity for López Obrador to boast about the merits of oil refining in an era when much of the world is focusing more on it. In the transition to clean energy.
He claimed, “We did not heed the ‘song of sirens’, the sounds that, in good faith, probably predict the end of the oil age and the mass arrival of electric cars and renewable energy.”
Dos Bocas, Mexico’s seventh refinery, is a key project in the government’s ambitions to end dependence on imported fuels and become an energy independent country. The facility is poised to become Mexico’s largest fuel plant when it finally begins operations, possibly sometime next year, with the potential to increase the country’s oil processing capacity by 20 percent.
In addition, it is believed to boost the local economy of Paraso, in the president’s home state, Tabasco.
This is a moment of great change, of a great turning point, from selling oil to converting raw materials, producing the fuel itself and selling it in the domestic market, stressed the executive head.
Will Dos Bocas deliver on every promise?
But critics question whether building the plant, officially named Olmeca, will actually advance the president’s lofty goals. The project has been plagued by construction delays and cost overruns that prompted the resignation of a top Pemex executive in December.
The initial cost for the project was $8 billion in 2019, however, the refinery’s budget for construction work by 2024 increased to more than $14 billion in May, with the final cost expected to be between $16 billion and $18 billion , which is according to people familiar. Case.
Furthermore, the plant is not expected to start commercial fuel production for at least month, While cash-strapped Pemex has a history Don’t invest in your refining businessWhich creates maintenance problems, accidents and financial loss for the company.
López Obrador, who said the project cost only increased by between 20 and 30 percent, said on Friday that the new plant would allow Mexico to increase its refining output to 1.2 million barrels of crude processing per day next year.