One of them is the distressing lack of funds from the state oil company to be able to import “crude oil and products” destined for the local market and the processing activities of the new Talara refinery (NRT) since February.

LOOK: Cost of the new Talara refinery amounts to US$5,995 million, including interest

And another is the new escalation in the cost of this infrastructure work, which already exceeds the US$6.5 billion.

This is what the document states “Current situation and projections for 2024 and 2025 of Petro-Perú SA”, prepared by the state oil company for the information of the Minister council.

This is a document for internal use that Petro-Perú cannot deny; and there appears the figure of US$6,530 million, which is pure Capex (investments in capital goods)“, he points out César Gutiérrez, energy expert.

Indeed, Petro-Peru states in its presentation a “total investment amount” for the new refinery US$6,530.31 millionwhich includes pre-operational interests by US$991.79 million.

The total investment in the new refinery already exceeds US$6.5 billion, including pre-operational interests.

We are talking, in general terms, about an investment that exceeds by US$600 million the amount recorded in the 2022 audited financial statements (US$5,595 million), and which quintuples the initial cost of the project, estimated at US$1,334 million by the consulting firm Arthur D, Little (ADL) 16 years ago.

Particularly disturbing, indicates Arturo Vásquez, former vice minister of Energy, is the increase in pre-operational interests, which two months ago amounted to US$735 million and which now “are reaching US$1 billion”.

This shows that there is totally inefficient management in the company, which would deserve an investigation by the Comptroller General of the Republic for the mismanagement of public funds.”, notes the specialist.

AND THE EURO 6?

Another item worth highlighting, Vásquez notes, is the additional spending that the state company has carried out. “on the progress” so that the new Talara refinery can produce Euro 6 fuels (it was originally designed to produce fuels Euro 4).

We are talking about a delay that harms automotive companies that had been promoting the introduction of this more eco-friendly standard, starting in 2024.

And it is that “There was the Government’s commitment.” that said technology would be available this year point Karsten Kunckel, president of the Automotive Association of Peru (AAP).

Automakers had plans to import vehicles with Euro 6, less polluting technology, starting this year.  However, Petroperú will not be able to produce related fuels until 2025. (Photo: Motor1)

Automakers had plans to import vehicles with Euro 6, less polluting technology, starting this year. However, Petroperú will not be able to produce related fuels until 2025. (Photo: Motor1)

However, we have known for several months that Petro-Perú will not be able to produce the fuel suitable for Euro 6 and that is causing us problems with orders. So it’s time to postpone that demand because the brands are in uncertainty.”says the union leader.

Now, it is known that the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem) plans to delay the entry of Euro 6 until October 2025, as announced by the head of the sector, Óscar Veradays ago.

Why have we spent, then, US$6.5 billion on Capex alone?Vásquez asks.

In his opinion, this problem does not end with the 100% commissioning of the refinery (a milestone that Petro-Perú reached a few days ago) because the Capex “It comes with debt.”

This means that “you have to consider the debt service contracted with the Spanish Export Credit Insurance Company (Cesce) and the bondholders of the project“, highlights the specialist.

In the end, Vásquez points out, the new Talara refinery could end up costing more than US$8.5 billionaccounting for post-construction interest.

​The new Talara refinery was planned to come into operation in 2020. Four years later, it began 100% operations.

​The new Talara refinery was planned to come into operation in 2020. Four years later, it began 100% operations.

NEW RESCUE

Now, the state oil company is once again insisting (as it did in August 2023) on a new financial rescue, made up of a capital contribution of US$1,150 million, a credit line guaranteed by the Peruvian State of US$650 million, and the capitalization of the US$750 million loaned by the MEF in 2022.

In total, US$2,550 million, which, added to the two previous rescues (from 2022), makes an amount close to US$5,000 million.

This is it, point out Eduardo Ramos, energy expert and partner of the MOAR study, an amount that would have been better used to cover “Much of the Capex of the new Talara refinery”.

It is worth reiterating that the project began costing US$1.13 billion in 2008 (ADL feasibility study). By 2014, however, its cost had risen to US$3,919 million, according to Carlos Paredes, former president of Petro-Perú in his book “The tragedy of ownerless companies”.

Today it exceeds US$6,530.1 million. Will keep growing?



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