San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Venezuelan Envoy Says Refinery on Schedule

The Venezuelan government last week released a press statement clarifying the time table on its $3.9 billion oil refinery scheduled to be built here, insisting that the project is on track to be operational within the next five years.

The statement from Venezuelan Ambassador Pedro Luis Penso was in response to an article published in the daily La Prensa in which Penso was quoted as saying the refinery wouldn’t be ready for another 10 years, or roughly five years behind schedule.

Penso, in his letter of clarification, said that statement published in the newspaper “does not correspond to reality.”

Despite claims by La Prensa that no advances have been made on the “Supreme Dream of Bolívar” oil refinery since the first ceremonial cornerstone was laid 16 months ago by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Penso insists the project is advancing and that Nicaragua, within five years, will become “the most important energy center in Central America.”

“The refinery project is the most impactful project that is being developed on the Central American isthmus,” Penso said, calling it a “strategic project” of Venezuelan cooperation.

–Tim Rogers


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