Too Many Doubts Over New Refinery in Costa Rica

The limited information presented by the state run refinery RECOPE shows that the Costa Rican government will bear the entire risk of the $1.5 billion project.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


It is still not known how much the new refinery will cost, but the head of Economic and Financial Studies unit at Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo (RECOPE), said: "The latest figure is around the $1.5 billion mark."

It is also not known what benefits will be accrued by consumers in regards to fuel prices. Although it is logical that an absolute figure in the local currency cannot be calculated, Recope should atleast know the percentage of savings that will come from refining the oil in the new refinery with respect to importing it in an already refined state, as is happening now.

There is no information on amounts or the characteristics of the lease of the refinery by the company SORESCO, the constructor of the plant, to RECOPE, which is essential to verify who will bear the final risk in the business.

Regarding the financing of the project, a statement by RECOPE indicates that "the total amount of indebtedness of RECOPE will be $330 million," forgetting to note that the body ultimately responsible for the loan from the China Development Bank (CDB) for about U.S. $900 million to SORESCO , is the Costa Rican government.

The headline and the first paragraphs of the statement of RECOPE on this topic focuses on what the new refinery will bring in terms of environmental protection, benefits which have also not been quantified.

More on this topic

More Air Fuel for Tocumen

March 2018

In the Panamanian airport, 600 thousand gallons of jet fuel are consumed every day, and it is estimated that in the following months demand will increase by 50 thousand gallons.

The current capacity of the infrastructure only allows for storage of 1.4 million gallons of jet fuel, which is only enough to cover demand corresponding to two days of operations at the airport.

More Studies to Demonstrate Feasibility of Refinery

May 2013

The directors of the Costa Rican state run entity RECOPE say that "there are already a number of studies which prove profitability," but as they can not produce them, they have announced that universities will be hired to do so.

Added to the $50 million that has already been spent on the project, will be these extra costs for more technical studies, and the recruitment of "national universities who will delve deeper, from academia, into the information which international consultants have already verified and approved."

Nicaragua Hires First Phase of Refinery Works

April 2012

CAMC Engineering, from Mainland China, is the counterpart of a $233 million contract to build the basic storage infrastructure and the pipeline network.

The Chinese group CAMC Engineering Co., Ltd. (CAMCE) signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint venture with Alba de Nicaragua SA (Albanisa) – a Venezuelan oil importing company, to build the first phase of a refinery in Nicaragua, which will be called " El Supremo Sueño de Bolívar” (The Supreme Dream of Bolivar).

Costa Rica: $102 Million Fuel Terminal

November 2009

Recope bought 22 hectares of land in Guanacaste for building a new fuel terminal.

Costa Rica's state-owned oil refinery (Recope) will build a new fuel terminal in the province of Guanacaste, close to Liberia's Airport. It will be named 'Terminal Chorotega'.

"The terminal includes 2 diesel tanks for 25.000 barrels of diesel, 4 gasoline tanks for 25.000 barrels, 3 jet fuel tanks of 40.000 barrels and 2 tanks for 5.000 barrels of ethanol", reported

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Tuthill Transfer Systems

Organization that operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
Phone: (52) 55-5370-0602

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