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Located in central Venezuela on the coast of the state of Carabobo, 21 km from Puerto Cabello, Moron is a centre of the fertiliser industry. The main operating JVs there are Produven and Tripoliven, producing nitrogen and phosphate-based fertilisers as well as industrial products such as sulphuric acid and oleum.

The capacity of this complex is over 1.5m t/y. Pequiven is replacing a 300,000 t/y plant with a larger facility - with a capacity of 450,000 t/y of ammonia in a project costing $200m and to be on stream in late 2006 - as part of its expansion of the fertilisers output. The plants there use the Borburata marine terminal and the Puerto Cabello terminal facilities for shipping and receiving materials.

The Paraguana Refining Complex: Combining the big oil refineries of Amuay and Cardon (see DT 19), the Paraguana Refining Complex (PRC) is to become the main centre for aromatics in Venezuela. This is the site of a 130,000 t/y propylene plant which came on stream in mid-1999. It was built for Consortium Propilenos de Falcon (Profalca), a JV owned 35% by Proesca (Pequiven), 35% by Koch Petroleum Corp. of the US, 15% by Inversiones Polar, and 15% by Inepropil. Profalca's first export shipment left the PRC on Oct. 20, 1999. Proflaca's capacity is to be expanded eventually to 200,000 t/y. Its feedstocks come from Cardon and Amuay refining streams.

A 250,000 t/y cyclohexane plant at the PRC came on stream earlier in 1999, using light naphtha from the two refineries. Projects to be built at the PRC in recent years were planned to include a 100,000 t/y petroleum tar plant and a 50,000 t/y plant for special waxes. Other projects proposed for this complex were to include plants to produce 500,000 t/y of styrene, originally planned to be on stream by 2004; but the project is unlikely to materialise until political stability in Venezuela has been restored.

Background: For many years, the industry was under the now-defunct Venezuelan Petrochemical Institute (IVP) which produced a fraction of its capacity. PDVSA took over in 1977 and set up Pequiven. IVP's accumulated losses were in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Pequiven sharply raised production and reduced losses through to 1982.

By 1983, Pequiven produced the first profits. In 1987, it launched an expansion programme which was one of the most ambitious in the world (see Vol. 61, DT 20).
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Date:Nov 14, 2005
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