(Nov. 2, 2007) On November 7, 2007, Rafael Ramírez, the Venezuelan Minister of the People's Power for Energy and Petroleum asserted that by December of 2007 the Cienfuegos Oil Refinery of Cuba would be inaugurated. The notice was confirmed during the signing of the 2007-2009 Collective-Bargaining Agreement and notice was also given concerning the respective necessary deposit before the Ministry of the People's Power for Labor and Social Security—a step that enacts the entry into force of the legal instrument that supports almost 70,000 workers of the petroleum industry.
According to the information supplied by Petróleos de Venezuela S. A. (PDVSA, in Spanish), the Cienfuegos Oil Refinery expects to reach a production level of 65,000 barrels of petroleum per day (bpd) in its first stage and later expects to reach a level of 100,000 bpd. Once the refinery meets that production figure, it will be the top producing plant in Cuba—exceeding even that of the Ñico López Oil Refinery (headquartered in Havana and has a production capacity of 44,000 bpd.).
The founding of this enterprise carries out the Letter of Intent signed on 28 April 2005 within the context of the Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America (ALBA, in Spanish). The refinery is built as one of the most important project of ALBA. Two hundred thirty-six million dollars (US$236,000,000) have been invested in the refinery's re-activation—this is only for its first phase. The second phase will require 1.3 billion dollars coming from Venezuela and Cuban capital to construct a petrochemical center in the zone. (Agencia Bolivariana de Noticas [ABN, in Spanish], En diciembre sera inaugurada la refinería de Cienfuegos, ALTERNATIVA BOLIVARIANA PAR LOS PUEBLOS DE NUESTRA AMÉRICA ONLINE, Nov. 7 2007.)