Venezuela's Amuay refinery operates at 52% of installed capacity
Based on the operational report, around 340,000 barrels of products are processed on a daily basis, which amounts to some 52% of the installed capacity
Despite the time that has elapsed after the catastrophic event -the way it was described by President of state-run oil holding Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) and Minister of Petroleum and Mining Rafael Ramírez- authorities have failed to publish a conclusive report on the technical causes of the tragedy, the extent of material losses, and recommendations to prevent future events similar to the accident occurred at daybreak of Saturday, August 25, 2012.
To date, Amuay refinery -the largest in Venezuela, which, together with Cardón and Bajo Grande refineries, comprises the Paraguaná Refining Center- has not resumed operations at full throttle, in the aftermath of the blast of the olefin gas cloud that accumulated over block 23 in the tank yard.
Amuay's daily operational report states that the refinery is processing around 340,000 barrels per day (bpd) of products; this stands for approximately 52% of the installed capacity of 640,000 bpd.
In addition to the operational needs to produce specific, more or less refined, products, Amuay turned six months with the atmospheric distillation unit number 5 -which processes about 180,000 bpd of oil- out of service, as the damages caused by the blast of August have not been repaired.
Iván Freites, the executive secretary of the United Federation of Oil-Sector Workers (Futpv) stated, "Repair works are lagging behind, particularly due to materials in short supply," but also because "there is no weekend duty because of the cost of labor" to make the repairs.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.