In the Clean Products Terminal that makes up the Pascuales-Cuenca Poliducto there are cracks everywhere. And the serious problems of land settlement that Petroecuador says put it in a “risk” situation are evident, the contents of the spheres that store the gas are evacuated and in one of the ready-mix fuel tanks that later becomes eco-gasoline.
The work was shown on Wednesday in a tour. This, according to the deputy minister of Hydrocarbons, Patricio Larrea, was built “without having the technical soil studies to determine if this was the right place.”
In the area near the spheres and tanks there are danger signs, safety cones and insulation cords to avoid an accident.
Some cracks exceed 10 centimeters and were aggravated in December by the rains.
To prevent the situation from getting worse, in some cases it was covered with tar to prevent it from spreading, in others the area was isolated with plastic, but the most serious one was in the terrain between the spheres and the eco fuel tank. There, the retaining wall literally opened and that is why two backhoes entered to take out as much material as possible to relieve the load and prevent a major disaster.
John Ochoa, Petroecuador’s Transportation Manager, said that mechanical problems were identified in seven of the 15 pumps, with the automation system, with those of reducing valves, among the main ones. The cost of these repairs is not yet quantified because they are inputs with a price too high. “Only the reducing valve costs $ 400,000, the mechanical seals about $ 200,000.”
The contract for the work carried out by Odebrecht was broken unilaterally by the Government for non-compliance, which generated a payment of $ 18,000,000, which Ochoa says is already in the treasury and cannot be used for repairs. What is not certain is that if the “insurance included this work”.
Petroecuador hired technicians from the Escuela Politécnica Nacional to carry out a remediation plan.
These failures were exposed after the results of the three international companies ICC-Tecnatom (Spain), RPS Energy Ltd. (United Kingdom) and ABSG Consulting Inc. (United States) that audited the five flagship projects of the Rafael Correa government.
Odebrecht defended itself against the government’s accusations about this work: “If the reports (of) the evaluating companies report deficiencies in the engineering designs of the project (…), it is confirmed that the non-compliance was not Odebrecht, with an obvious impact in the referential budget of the project “. (I)