Four bidders picked for race to build Mexico’s biggest refinery

Mexico has invited four teams to tender for an $8bn, refinery on its Gulf coast that is intended to end the county’s dependence on imported oil.

The four contenders, which were announced by President López Obrador on Monday as "the best in the world", are Houston-based KBR, Technip of France and two consortiums made up of US engineer Bechtel with Italy’s Techint and Jacobs Engineering, also of the US, with Australia’s WorleyParsons.

The facility will be owned by Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, and sited near the town of Dos Bocas in the southern state of Vera Cruz.

López Obrador said the project, which was part of his election campaign, would be "efficient" and would "avoid corruption". He added that the aim was to design and build it within three years, which he said would "probably set a world record".

The Dos Bocas project will include 17 processing plants and 93 storage tanks, as well as access to highways, a rail line and docking for ships. When complete it will be Mexico’s seventh refinery and the first to be built in the past 40 years.

Pemex plans to spend about $2.5bn on Dos Bocas in 2019 and the total cost is expected to be somewhere between $6bn and $8bn. When complete it would be able to process 340,000 barrels a day of crude oil, making it Mexico’s biggest.

Image: López Obrador’s final campaign rally in 2018 (Aeneas/CC BY 2.0)

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