In its report to the Chamber of Deputies, the Superior Auditor of the Federation (ASF) found some irregularities in the maintenance contracts of three PEMEX-owned refineries. ASF also reported inconsistencies and delays in the maintenance work carried out by PEMEX for the National Refining System (SNR), as well as the payment of surpluses.
The damage to the treasury reached MX$40.2 million (US$2 million). The irregularities were detected at the refineries of Tula, for MX$28 million (US$1.4 million), Minatitlán, for MX$7.2 million (US$369,762), and Salamanca, for about MX$5 million (US$256,085).
The biggest damage found in a contract was for MX$10.5 million (US$537,778) in the Tula Refinery, where the conventional penalties were not applied to the contractor for delay in the execution of the modernization contracts, reported Forbes. The second largest irregularity in terms of cost was MX$8.8 million (US$450,709) for improper payments and interest regarding a contract for the supply and installation of vacuum pumps, motors and valves.
As for the Minatitlán refinery, ASF discovered irregularities in excess payments for the restoration of towers, containers, tanks, filters and the reactor of the alkylation unit. For the Salamanca refinery, four contracts were reviewed for maintenance and rehabilitation, conservation and maintenance, as well as for the installation, configuration and commissioning of the measuring system. Here, ASF encountered excess payments in a contract for the maintenance and rehabilitation of a catalytic converter plant.
The ASF report found PEMEX and CFE were Mexico’s public entities with the highest number of irregularities. followed by the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT).
The NOC has focused its efforts on fulfilling its debt obligations, which according to experts has hampered its ability to repair storage facilities and pipelines in dire need of maintenance.
The previous month, an oil spill in Salina Cruz drove attention to PEMEX’s maintenance activities. According to Juan Andrés Escobar Soto, Chemical Researcher, UNAM, the government has not provided adequate maintenance to oil pipelines and in some states like Hidalgo, the infrastructure has not had maintenance for 40 years. Escobar explains that some materials used for pipelines are easily degraded by components found in oil and tend to last for up to 20 years.