PULSE NEWS MEXICO
Less than three and a half months after he cut the ribbon on his new Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) — which, due to a plethora of problems, such as a lack of working conveyor belts to move luggage and no viable public transportation to and from the hub, is still receiving just 12 flights per day — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) inaugurated yet another of his dysfunctional megaprojects on Friday, July 1, this time, his new Dos Bocas oil refinery in his native state of Tabasco.
Like the AIFA, which is yet to attract any international carriers other than Venezuela’s Conviasa and which has so far had to cancel more than 20 percent of national scheduled flights, the Dos Bocas refinery was opened on schedule, but incomplete and extremely over budget.
According to the president himself, parts of the refinery’s operating plants are still “in the testing phase,” while the remainder have not yet been assembled.
With an investment, so far, of $10.2 billion (the original budget was $8 billion, which AMLO approved in 2019, assuring at that time that there would be no “additional costs”), López Obrador said on Friday that the testing stage will take another six months before Dos Bocas can begin partial operations.
During the inaugural ceremony, Mexican Energy Secretary of Energy Rocío Nahle acknowledged that the installation of pipes and electronics for the general integration of the refinery, which is slated to eventually produce some 340,000 barrels of gasoline and diesel per day, is still needed.
Notwithstanding, AMLO said Friday, that by the end of next year, Dos Bocas will have a refining output of 1.2 million barrels of crude processing per day.
According to government figures, the refinery’s budget for construction work through 2024 was increased in May to more than $14 billion, with the final price likely to total between $16 billion and $18 billion, more than double AMLO’s original figure.