QUITO – State oil company Petroecuador said it expects Ecuador’s largest refinery to be completely back in operation Tuesday, five days after a power failure knocked it offline.
Carlos Pareja, Petroecuador’s refinery manager, confirmed the re-start date for the Esmeraldas facility in remarks to Efe.
The company had initially said the refinery would be back online on Sunday, but the process took longer than expected.
On Thursday, a power cut completely shut down the plant’s operating units, the refinery’s superintendent, Carlos Quinde, was quoted as saying in a Petroecuador press release that same day.
Electricity was restored 20 minutes after the power cut and the company’s technicians immediately began the restart process in compliance with technical guidelines, Quinde said then.
Petroecuador said the situation would not adversely affect fuel deliveries for domestic consumption because sufficient stock exists to meet demand.
Esmeraldas, located in the like-named northwestern coastal city, is Ecuador’s leading oil refinery with a daily processing capacity of 110,000 barrels.
Ecuador also has two other smaller refineries: La Libertad, on the country’s southwestern coast, and Amazonas, in the northeastern Amazon region.
Although Ecuador is an oil exporter, it is a net importer of gasoline and other fuels.
Ecuador, the smallest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, currently produces some 500,000 barrels per day of crude, its main export product. EFE