Inspector detected 15 contracts for $ 286.6 million, for repowering of Esmeraldas Refinery, without support
At least 15 contracts concluded within the process of Repowering the Esmeraldas Refinery, for a total amount of $ 286.68 million, have no documentary support. This is supported by the audit company Tecnatom, contracted by the Government to carry out an audit, in a process that was endorsed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and whose results were delivered a few weeks ago.
The existence of unsupported contracts is one of the findings, after reviewing a total of 97 contracts, corresponding to the processes of Rehabilitation of the Refinery, which amounted to $ 1,223.7 million and Plant Maintenance that reached $ 1,100 millions. Thus both are part of the Repowering that cost $ 2,323.8 million. The figure is three times more than budgeted in at first and it was $ 755 million.
In the Rehabilitation group, SK, the company that had the bulk of the contracts ($ 805.1 million) recorded an amount without support for $ 87.39 million. UOP, Flexiner Tapco Enpro (and others) also presents unsupported contracts for $ 87.1 million. Followed by Foster Wheeler Italina with an unsupported amount of $ 14.6 million and UOP Process International with $ 13.8 million.
Meanwhile, within the Plant Sustainability Program, the two companies with the highest amounts contracted were Worley Parsons International ($ 221.7 million) and Tesca Ingeniería del Ecuador ($ 223 million). Both companies registered contracts without support: the first for an amount of $ 10.02 and the second for $ 3.3 million. Additionally, the Jorge Vivar Servicios de Ingeniería Mecánica Company presents amounts without support for $ 6.04 million; General Electric for $ 4.4 million and Veolia Enviromental for $ 4.39 million.
Several names of the named companies came to light, within the investigation of the Panama Papers, carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in which this Journal participated. For example, it was learned that Ramiro Luque, who identified himself as Veolia’s representative, paid for the creation of an offshore company in the name of Álex Bravo, ex-manager of Petroecuador and now imprisoned for crimes such as bribery and illicit enrichment.
SK -according to the Prosecutor’s Office- would also have delivered $ 1.4 million to Bravo through offshore companies. Another of the companies named in the list of those that have contracts without support is that of Jorge Vivar. The businessman was recently sentenced to 10 years for embezzlement.
Moreover, the Tecnatom report also established that the contracting modalities employed, for the most part, have been Special Regime and Complementary Contract. These modalities were just a precursor of the cost overruns, says the company.
It also indicates that the figure of bidding for works was only used in 1% of the contracted amounts, while Special Regime (Specific Business Turn) in 39%; Emergency in 38% and Complementary Contract in 22%. (I)