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Friday, 27 November, 2020

KEYS | The Amuay refinery attack, according to Nicolás Maduro

Eight years after the massive tragedy in 2012, explosions are still taking place at the refinery due to a lack of maintenance.

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On the afternoon of Tuesday, October 27, an explosion was recorded at the Amuay refinery, belonging to the Paraguaná Refining Complex (CRP), when workers tried to restart one of the distillation units that had stopped and that produces VGO (heavy vacuum gas oil or Vacuum Gasoil).

October 28, Maduro ascribed all of the accidents, explosions, and failure to produce gasoline in general at the plant to an attack with an unspecified military weapon, version workers discredited only minutes after it was made public.

Most importantly, on October 27, the regime Defense Minister, Vladimir Padrino, toured the plant. He posted a video of himself talking to workers. No military attack or its aftermath visible.

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And all of this is happening eight years since the Amuay refinery exploded on August 25, 2012, causing 55 deaths, vast financial losses to the country, 156 injuries while also affecting both the surrounding area and the oil refinery complex.

Refineries Amuay, Cardon, and Bajo Grande form the Paraguana Refining Complex (CRP in Spanish), which was once the largest such complex in the world with over 1 million barrels of daily refining capacity. Now, the complex is almost entirely out of commission, and Maduro has to import gasoline from Iran.

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Neither the Prosecutor Office, the Comptroller Office, nor the Supreme Court of Justice investigated the Amuay tragedy that occurred eight years ago. Any measures to prevent these explosions that continue happening, amid attempts to reactivate the distillation units.

Here, El Pitazo summarizes the version of Maduro of the new explosion at Amuay and contrasts it with other information.

1– At 2:40 pm on Tuesday, October 27, fisher-men of Las Piedras, municipality of Carirubana, state of Falcon, denounced an explosion at the Amuay refinery, belonging to the Paraguana Refining Complex (CRP). Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino arrived at the facility shortly after the event. He posted a video of himself touring the plant and talking to workers. No military attack was evident, and activities, as much as there are any now at that plant, seemed to be continuing normally.

2- One day after the event, Nicolas Maduro denounced that terrorist groups caused the explosion, allegedly financed by National Assembly President Juan Guaido, the lawmaker and interim President of Venezuela since January 2019.

3- “Amuay was attacked with a powerful long weapon. They knocked down a tower that was thicker than a war tank,” said Maduro in a press conference with international media. Experts such as Jose Toro Hardy, a former high-ranking PDVSA official, stated that the damages on the facility are because of neglect by inexperienced workers.

4- The Governor asked Tareck El Aissami to hold a press conference to show the media the evidence the Venezuelan State has and thus prove that all this was an alleged terrorist attack to ruin one of the most important refineries in Venezuela.

5- This version of Maduro was immediately denied by the oil industry workers in Paraguana, who revealed to El Pitazo that the explosion was due to an overload to produce VGO.

6- The workers explained that this happened because the tank that was feeding plant four was not draining, a function that must be done every 24 hours due to the rains registered in the last few days. “When the product was put in, which linked to the water pressure, the tank exploded,” said the experts.

Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.

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