Funds pledged to finish PDVSA tankers

Nov 08 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has pledged funds to enable a state-owned Argentine shipyard to finish building two long- overdue tankers for PDVSA, which is struggling with a diminished tanker fleet.

Maduro did not say how much money Venezuela would provide or when it would be disbursed, Reuters said.

But a statement put out suggested he saw left-leaning Alberto Fernandez’ victory in last month’s Argentine presidential election as an opening to revive the construction.

He accused current President Mauricio Macri, an outspoken Maduro critic, of “sabotage” to delay the tankers’ completion, without evidence, Reuters said.

Maduro added that he had not been aware of the situation until union leaders from the Rio Santiago shipyard building the tankers - who attended a Havana summit in which President Maduro was speaking - approached him in a restaurant last weekend.

Delivery of the ships was delayed long before Macri took office in late 2015. Maduro’s late predecessor Hugo Chavez and late Argentine President Nestor Kirchner first signed a deal to build the ships in 2005.

One tanker, the Aframax ‘Eva Peron’, was officially launched in 2012, but construction delays and a lack of funds has meant it has yet to be delivered.


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