(posted April 29, 10:20 p.m.)- South American liberator Simón Bolívar must have tossed and turned in his sleep; apparently he had reoccurring dreams of the Chinese building an oil refinery in Nicaragua.
The so-called “Supreme Dream of Bolívar” oil refinery that Venezuela has been promising to build here for the past five years apparently has been handed over to Chinese dream-makers CAMC Engineering Co., which is reportedly building the first phase of the project, according to daily El Nuevo Diario.
The refinery is being built 15 kilometers outside of León, near Puerto Sandino, the site of the mysterious oil spill that occurred last month from a supposedly “50 year-old disused oil pipe”—an event authorities have yet to explain with any combination of words that make sense.
El Nuevo Diario reports that the Chinese construction firm has already started moving earth on the $183 million construction of the refinery, which will eventually be able to process some 150,000 barrels of crude oil a day and generate nearly $700 million in annual revenue forNicaragua, according to previous government estimates. Phase I will reportedly be ready in less than two years, according to El Nuevo Diario.
In the land of rumors, secrets, fair tales and nebulous natter, the government has yet to confirm or deny El Nuevo Diario’s reports of Chinese collaboration. The last the government spoke of the project was several months ago, when its propaganda outlets reported that construction was completed on the concrete road leading from the Inter-American Highway to the dirt field where the refinery might be some day.
The refinery will cost anywhere between $3.9 -$6 billion, depending on who’s guessing. It also remains to be seen how Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s rapidly deteriorating health will factor in the long-term plans to finish the refinery.