PetroEcuador seeks financing for products terminal

OREANDA-NEWS. Ecuador's state-owned PetroEcuador is seeking foreign investors to build oil products storage at its Monteverde LPG terminal.

The planned facility would have 600,000-800,000 bl of storage capacity for gasoline and diesel.

The 75,000 ton Monteverde terminal, located some 160km (99.4mi) west of Guayaquil, was inaugurated in June 2014. The new installations include the 124km Monteverde-El Chorrillo LPG pipeline and four 4,000 t LPG storage tanks in El Chorrillo outside Guayaquil.

"We would like to bring in private investors. The oil sector's current situation is forcing us to seek new funding alternatives," PetroEcuador chief executive Marco Calvopina says.

PetroEcuador has almost halved this year?s investment to \\$637mn, from \\$1.17bn in 2014. Refining and transportation projects alone will require some \\$530mn. The company's operating expenses have been set at \\$1.1bn, mirroring 2014 figures.

The downstream firm is in talks with foreign companies to finance the first phase of the Monteverde project, which includes installing six to eight tanks and new unloading arms, according to Calvopina, who did not disclose the required investment.

PetroEcuador hopes to complete the first phase by 2016. The firm is also in talks with companies interested in using Monteverde to import chemicals.

To transport diesel and gasoline from Monteverde to Ecuador's main cities, PetroEcuador plans to convert the Monteverde-El Chorrillo LPG line into a products pipeline. French consultancy Beicip Franlab is carrying out pipeline studies on behalf of the company.

"Beicip Franlab said that relatively small modifications are needed, especially to the pumping system, to convert the LPG pipeline into a products line," Calvopina said.

The 10" pipeline will connect at La Troncal station, in Guayas, to the \\$425mn Pascuales-Cuenca line which will be completed by the end of the year.

The 210km 8" Pascuales-Cuenca line will transport gasoline, LPG and diesel from the Pascuales fuel terminal in Guayas province to the Chaullabamba terminal in Cuenca in Azuay province.

PetroEcuador is also building four new pumping stations to increase the capacity of the 253km Esmeraldas-Santo Domingo-Quito products pipeline by 20pc. The line currently transports around 48,000 b/d of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.