Watchdog report delivers setback to proposed refinery

The nation’s watchdog agency said Thursday that it had found deficiencies in a feasibility study done in anticipation of a joint Chinese-Costa Rican petroleum refinery in Moín.

The watchdog, the Contraloría General de la República, launched an investigation after complaints were raised about the company that did the feasibility study.

The petroleum project has been in the works since 2007.  The China National Petroleum Corp. is participating with the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A.

The Contraloría said that a major problem was that the firm that did the feasibility study, identified as  HQCEC, was closely related to the Chinese petroleum firm. That is contrary to Costa Rican law, the Contraloría said.

The watchdog report also said there were glaring omissions in the feasibility report.

For example, it said, the profitability of the project was set at 16.28 percent but the expenses of the refinery were not included in the projections.

The Contraloría ordered that the state petroleum firm not use the feasibility study and any studies that are based on it.

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