Ecuador to award refinery, photovoltaic project

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Ecuador to award refinery, photovoltaic project

Published: Monday, January 18, 2021

Ecuador’s energy minister, René Ortiz, has promised to award contracts for the management and operations of the Esmeraldas oil refinery and the Conolophus photovoltaic project before the government’s term ends.

“In the remainder of the current administration, the Conolophus renewable energy project will be awarded in March and the Esmeraldas refinery in April,” Ortiz said during an energy webinar organized by the Institute of the Americas.

The US$45mn, 14.8MWp Conolophus project takes advantage of the Galapagos archipelago’s solar resources. It also has energy storage capacity of 40.9MWh to ensure continuous service for the Baltra and Santa Cruz islands. Five companies have already shown interest.

Esmeraldas, the country’s most important refinery, has processing capacity of 110,000b/d and will require investments of up to US$3bn for increasing processing capacity and a new high-conversion train that will enable the production of Euro 5 fuels.

A consortium of foreign companies comprising KBR, Hyundai, RGFX and Energlobal Group is interested in the contract.


During the webinar, Ortiz also highlighted the need for reserve replenishment and a new exploration and production stage, with the southeastern Amazonian sector as main axis because its geological characteristics could turn it into a development pole.

As part of this new hydrocarbon vision, a new crude export port is needed, according to Ortiz. The port should cover the Peruvian, Ecuadoran and Brazilian Amazon.

“There are refineries there and there is an interesting potential. We must emphasize exploration activities in the far southeast, and create an export port that could use the underutilized capacity of the Norperuano pipeline,” Ortiz said. [. . .]

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