Pequiven S.A., Venezuela’s state-owned petrochemical company, said it may build a $700 million fertilizer plant with either Argentine or Brazilian partners.
Pequiven President Saúl Ameliach said the petrochemical plant, whose construction might begin as early as next year, would produce about 1.5 million tons a year of fertilizer.
Production would be exported to either Brazil or Argentina, he said.
“We have the site, we have the engineering plans ready,” said Ameliach. “We just have to decide on our partners.”
Venezuela has repeatedly said it wants to boost petrochemical output to take advantage of its natural gas reserves, the eighth largest in the world.
Ameliach said in July the company, which is an unit of state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, wants to double output to 20 million tons of fertilizers, plastics and other chemicals by 2009.
The plant would be located in the Jose Complex in the eastern state of Anzoátegui, Ameliach said.
He declined to give the names of the company’s potential partners.
Pequiven technicians returned earlier this week from Argentina where they visited a similar plant, Ameliach said. The Venezuelan company is also a 35 percent shareholder in Fertilizantes Nitrogenados de Oriente S.A., a joint venture that makes ammonia and urea. Pequiven’s partners include Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries, Italy’s Snamprogetti SpA and Venezuela’s Empresas Polar.
“The site is right besides FertiNitro,” said Ameliach. “We could spend $200 million next year on this.”