Ecuador’s state-owned oil company Petroecuador has launched a tender process to build and start-up a new storage tank at its 45,000 bbl/d La Libertad refinery.
Tank no.4 will have a capacity to store 50,000 bbl diesel. The company announced through the Ecuadorean government’s online official public procurement system that the budget for the new tank will be US$3.3m, and the contract will have an execution period of 300 days. The new tank will replace one that was demolished in 2016 when it was found to be leaking and contaminating the surrounding area, presenting a high risk of accident. Removing the tank lowered the diesel storage capacity at La Libertad by 24%.
The new storage tank will help to address the lack of storage space at La Libertad, which contributed to its temporary closure in April of this year, although this was largely due to COVID-19. Petroecuador had identified 63 workers who had either been in close contact with someone suffering from COVID-19 or had symptoms themselves, and 75 workers who had underlying chronic health conditions which could exacerbate COVID-19, and had quarantined staff. The company announced that once quarantine was over it would not restart operations due to an over-stock of fuels due to the lack of demand in the pandemic and insufficient storage space for more derivatives. The company said that the restart date will depend on fuel demand, which it continually monitors.
The deadline for proposal submissions is 22nd June 2020, and Petroecuador expects to have made a decision and award the contract by 9th July 2020.