September 27, 2019 / 10:43 PM / 20 days ago

Venezuela's biggest refinery complex still halted

CARACAS (Reuters) - Both units at Venezuela’s 955,000 barrel-per-day capacity Paraguana Refining Center remain down one week after a blackout halted operations, workers said on Friday.

The Amuay and Cardon refineries, which make up the OPEC nation’s largest refining complex, were already operating well below capacity, before a lightning storm eight days ago knocked out power and caused a fire.

Though electricity was quickly restored and the fire at Amuay was controlled, output is still halted, the sources said. “There’s no output at all. The restart is planned for Tuesday or Wednesday of next week,” an Amuay worker told Reuters.

At the Cardon refinery, one operator said only a steam generator had been restarted.

Both refineries had anyway been operating under a third of capacity in recent months due to shortages of both crude and parts for maintenance.

State oil company PDVSA, which operates the refineries, did not respond to a request for information.

Reporting by Mircely Guanipa and Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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