State refining company has millions in projects in the works

Tankers of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo line up to take on loads of fuel oil to run the new electrical generating plant at Garabito. The fuel, like all petroleum-based products here, was imported. The 'Ocean Breeze' on the left came from Columbia with 90,000 barrels of oil.

The government’s petroleum refiner has a number of projects about to be completed that will give it more capacity for the country’s unquenchable appetite for fuel.

One project, the dredging of the Moín port, finished Friday. This was a $13.8 million job done by Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors BV of Holland. Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo said that the dredging opened the way for larger tankers with less frequency.

This is the dredge that did the work in Moín. Photo: Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo

The dredge opened up two underseas strips, one alongside the docks about 50 meters (164 feet) wide and another 200 meters (656 feet) wide to give the tankers room to maneuver. The depth is from 12.5 to 14.5 meters, about 41 to 47.5 feet.

Officials estimate that the dredge removed 1.2 million cubic meters of sediment. That’s about 1,569,541 cubic yards.

When the tankers arrive, they will be able to unload their cargo into the largest tank ever built in Costa Rica. The Refinadora Costarricense is completing a 200,000 barrel tank at Moín and two smaller, 25,000-barrel tanks. The larger tank is a $12.7 million job being done by Isiven C.A. It is expected to be finished in April. The smaller tanks are expected to be finished in May. The job by the Consorcio Grupo Saret has a contract price of $4.8 million.

At Juan Santamaría airport, the refining company is constructing a new storage and supply center. It is 32 percent complete, the firm reported this month. This is a $21.7 million job to create a facility where 11 passenger jets can take on fuel at the same time. The facility is expected to be in service early next year. The job is being done by a consortium of EDICA-Hatch Mott Mac Donald-Safe Fuelling Equipment. Included are pipelines and a self-contained fire control system, said Refinadora Costarricense.

The current fuel servicing facility will be dismantled to make way for more boarding ramps at the Alajuela airport.

In Caldera, Puntarenas, Refinadora Costarricense had a major transportation job on its hands this month. Its tankers were moving bunker oil from ships to the new electrical generating plant operated by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad in Garabito. The company moved 71,101 barrels of fuel from the docks to the generating plant in December.

With the arrival of the “Ocean Current” from Colombia the company’s tankers and crews had to move 90,000 barrels of fuel for the generating plant earlier this month.

This is the 200,000-barrel storage tank that is nearly completed in Moín. Photo: Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo

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