“Shameful and scandalous” conclusions showed the analysis of five emblematic projects of the oil sector, submitted to an international audit. President Lenin Moreno revealed on Thursday, on national television, those results issued by international companies that had the support of the United Nations (UN).
Moreno said he had received the technical evaluation and that in the face of the results he will file a complaint with the Comptroller’s Office and the Office of the Prosecutor, in order to investigate apparent crimes committed.
The conclusions ratify alleged overpriced millionaires, structural damage, engineering errors, within projects such as the refineries of Esmeraldas and the Pacific, the Pascuales-Cuenca pipeline, the Bajo Alto liquefaction plant and the Monteverde maritime terminal. According to Moreno, about $ 4,900 million were paid for these projects, when in fact they must have cost half.
The president previously acknowledged that he did not obtain the expected results of the “major surgery to corruption” that he promised. “Many of those who abused and misused public resources are still not accountable to justice …”.
He also explained that the Government has presented more than 500 corruption allegations of the regime of former President Rafael Correa and as a result, he said, the Comptroller established indications of criminal responsibility against 317 former officials. All those cases are already in the Office of the Prosecutor, he said.
In the case of the Esmeraldas Refinery, he assured that 99% of the investment was hired “by finger” and only 1% by contest. The rehabilitation cost $ 2,230 million, despite the fact that the initial budget was $ 754 million and “it did not help at all”.
In the Refinería del Pacífico, in Manabí, there was a 23% surcharge. For this project $ 1,521 million were allocated, which are abandoned due to a conflict with Venezuela and its company PDVSA, he said.
In the case of the Pascuales-Cuenca Poliducto, Moreno said that “it has engineering errors; if we do not spend more money to remedy the work done wrong, there is a risk of gas leakage when the pipes collapse. ” The initial budget of the work was $ 250 million, but its final cost reached $ 623 million, almost three times more.
At the Monteverde Maritime Terminal, in Santa Elena, overpricing was also detected; the budget went from $ 210 million to $ 371 million.
On the Bajo Alto gas plant in El Oro, Moreno said that it is sinking, and that it should be demolished. This plant cost $ 76 million, with a surcharge of $ 36 million. Today, it can only operate at 50% capacity.
The president asked the corresponding authorities “that these five cases that I give today (yesterday), be investigated until I find the perpetrators”.
Moreno said he will ask the UN to investigate the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute, hydroelectric power plants and other “emblematic” projects.
The president also reiterated his request to the Council of the Judiciary to specify the creation of national prosecutors and judges to fight corruption and organized crime.
He also addressed the Parliament to request the approval of the bill he sent in 2018. “Ladies and gentlemen, Assemblymen: If the anti-corruption law that we sent to the Assembly, had already been approved, the country would have the best tools, so that those 317 Former officials (allegedly involved in acts of corruption of the previous regime) do not walk unpunished through our streets. “
The Legislative Commission of Justice answered on Twitter, but then erased the message: “If your government had not vetoed the project to fight corruption, today the country would have effective tools to recover the stolen money, treatment and waiting for the legal secretary of the Presidency to appear. ” (I)
– Pacific Refinery
– Esmeraldas Refinery
– Monteverde Maritime Terminal
– Poliducto Pascuales-Cuenca