President López Obrador announced Sunday a MX$60 billion investment for a coker plant in the refinery complex in Tula, Hidalgo. This is considered only the latest in a series of government actions aimed to achieve the administration’s promise in regards to energy sovereignty.
During a visit to the Tula refinery complex, as part of -a tour of the country’s refineries to supervise rehabilitation efforts and worker’s conditions, President López Obrador said he hopes these refineries will meet the domestic demand for fuels and gasoline without having to rely on imports.
Approximately 8,000 jobs will be created and once the refinery is functional, it is expected to produce an additional 30,000 barrels of gasoline per day.
President Obrador said this investment is aimed to “rescue PEMEX and achieve energy self-sufficiency.” The President hopes that by 2023, the country’s six refineries, plus the new Dos Bocas and Deer Park refineries, once in operation will halt all fuel imports.
“We are rescuing PEMEX and the objective by the end of my term is that we will no longer buy gasoline from abroad, instead we aim to produce all processed oil, such as gasoline, diesel...We want to produce all fuels in our country, produce what we consume in Mexico, and not buy gasoline abroad,” said the president.
“We are continuing with the supervision of these refineries. Today we were in Salamanca, Guanajuato, which supplies fuel to nine states in the center and the Bajío region,” he added.
While the president’s strategy remains strong at home, international organisms are not convinced of his policies. On Monday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asked for “substantive changes” from PEMEX, in order to transform the state-owned company into a functional, viable, and independent entity.
The recommended changes include a greater openness toward the private sector and its capital participation, as well as reducing investments in non or low-profitable projects, namely the Dos Bocas refinery.
Should the federal government and PEMEX follow the IMF´s recommendations, alongside an “evaluation of financial and macroeconomic policies,” then Mexico will see better economic results, according to the IMF.