Petrocomercial Could Change US$100mn Pipeline Plans

The Petrocomercial downstream subsidiary of Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador could change the project details for the construction of a US$100mn multipurpose pipeline from how the project was originally conceived after delaying the bid deadline for a fourth time, Petrocomercial VP Alberto Segovia said.

Despite the delay - this time to July 7 - it is unlikely that the project will be cancelled, Segovia told BNamericas. Petrocomercial decided to extend the deadline again, because the new administration of President Lucio Gutierrez has asked for more time to study the project, he said. Previous extensions had been granted because interested companies requested more time. "This extension has more to do with the government's new oil sector policies, but we expect the government to take a decision on this project by July 7 at the latest," Segovia said.

Companies that have bought bidding rules are Spain's Auxiliar Pipelines, Argentine construction company Techint, Brazilian construction company Norberto Odebrecht, the Contreras Hermanos consortium and the Maritima consortium.

The project will connect the Pascuales fuel terminal in Guayaquil with Machala and Cuenca in the south of Ecuador. The 15-year contract is for the construction and operation of the pipeline. The project aims to optimize fuel distribution in the area, as gasoline, diesel and LPG are presently transported by road.

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