U.S. refiner Citgo has reached an agreement with the island of Aruba to transfer control of the San Nicolas refinery to the island’s government, Citgo said late Saturday, Kallanish Energy learns.
The deal comes after buyer and seller in 2019, suspended a contract to renovate the facility, Reuters reported.
Citgo, a unit of Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), has been under the control of the opposition of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for more than a year, after Washington placed sanctions on PDVSA in a bid to oust socialist Maduro.
Citgo and Aruba in 2016 reached a 25-year, $685 million deal to refurbish and reopen the facility, which had been shuttered since 2012, but little progress has been made.
Citgo said the transfer agreement was the first step in a process that would result in the Aruba government taking full control of the refinery by March 16, following approval by the island’s parliament.
Aruba’s government has said it is looking for outside candidates to take over the refinery.
Citgo Petroleum Corp., a separate company, would continue to supply fuel to the island’s airport and gas stations, Citgo said.
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