The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Costa Rica authorities conducted a series of raids as part of the investigation of the case of joint refinery between state enterprises in Costa Rica and China, a project worth at least $1.3 billion.

The Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ) and anti-corruption prosecutor entered state offices Costa Rican Oil Refinery (RECOPE), Environmental Technical Secretariat (Setena) and Soresco, the company responsible for developing the project.

Authorities seized documents related to the refinery project in order to investigate whether there are irregularities in processing.

RECOPE spokesman, José Mario Guzman, told reporters that the company is cooperating with agents to facilitate their work.

On June 20, the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) of Costa Rica stopped the progress of the project at the refinery, to declare the feasibility study invalid.

The Comptroller found a breach of contract between RECOPE and China National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPCI) as HQCEC Chinese company, which conducted the study, has a relationship with the Chinese oil company.

Following this decision, the president of RECOPE, Jorge Rojas, resigned the post, and the Minister of Environment and Energy, René Castro, gave six months to the Costa Rican company to correct the error.

The project, one of the most important between China and Costa Rica since the beginning of diplomatic relations in 2007, is worth at least $1.3 billion and plans to expand refining capacity of 25,000 barrels per day to 60,000 at the Moin refinery in the Costa Rican Caribbean.

70% of the project cost (about $ 900 million) to be supplied by the China Development Bank (CDB) with a credit, and the remaining 30% will be responsible, in equal parts, and CNPCI Recope.

Recope and Company CNPCI Soresco was formed in order that it develops the project.

Environmentalists, academics and political opposition oppose the refinery, saying the project will pollute the local environment.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica