LIMA, April 17 Peru could potentially buy a
stake in one of the country's two main oil refineries from
Spain's Repsol to help ensure adequate fuel supplies to
consumers, Prime Minister Juan Jimenez said late on Tuesday.
Jimenez, who stressed that any investment would amount to a
minority stake and not a controlling one, said he has sought to
ensure Peruvian business groups in recent days that the
government is not pushing a statist agenda at the expense of
private companies that might also bid for the refinery.
"Basically the financial situation of the plant is being
evaluated for the possibility of an investment that would not be
majority but partial," he said on Canal N television.
"There is a lot of nervousness in the corporate sector over
this," he said. "I have told them my message is that the
government will continue to sensibly manage the economy."
A Reuters exclusive on April 3 said state-run Petroperu had
submitted a preliminary bid to buy the Pampilla refinery of
Repsol - even as there were disagreements within Petroperu about
whether it should agree to take on some $1.6 billion in
liabilities for environmental improvements and other upgrades at
The plant has capacity of 102,000 barrels a day and is one
of Peru's two main refineries. Pampilla produces about half of
the refined products in Peru, a net crude importer.
Petroperu was told to look into the investment by the mines
and energy ministry as part of President Ollanta Humala's
efforts to guarantee domestic production, a source said at the
Humala ran for office on a platform that emphasized greater
state control over "strategic" sectors like natural gas and oil,
although since taking office he has sought to lure more foreign
investment to the sector in what has been South America's
"Leaving ideology aside, we have to look at what is best for
the country, to make sure there is no shortage of energy, which
is something we are concerned about," Jimenez said.
Repsol did not provide an immediate comment. In February,
Repsol sold liquefied natural gas assets to Royal Dutch/Shell
for $4.4 billion in cash and the assumption of $2.3
billion in debt as part of a plan to protect its credit rating.