BOGOTA, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Colombia’s Ecopetrol will hike output at its refinery in the Caribbean city of Cartagena by a third in a bid to meet national demand for fuels and reduce imports, the majority state-owned energy company said on Wednesday.
The refinery will increase production to 200,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), from its previous output of 150,000 bpd, to guarantee the production of low-sulfur gasoline and diesel, Ecopetrol said in a statement.
“This expansion consolidates the Cartagena refinery as a strategic asset to guarantee Colombia’s energy sovereignty,” Ecopetrol’s Chief Executive Officer Felipe Bayon said.
The decision follows President Gustavo Petro’s announcement that fuel prices will be increased gradually to prevent a widening in the deficit in Colombia’s fuel price stabilization fund - a mechanism used to subsidize prices.
Colombia counts on two refineries, the largest of which is located in the city of Barrancabermeja, which has a production capacity of 250,000 bpd, a company spokesman said. (Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Paul Simao)
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