Ecuador's government has announced that China National Petroleum (CNPC) will finance the construction of a $12bn refinery project in the country.
The Pacifico project is a joint venture between Ecuador's state-run oil company Petroecuador and Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA. The companies hold 51% and 49% interests in the venture respectively.
The project is scheduled to start in 2017 and is expected to produce approximately 300,000 barrels of oil per day. The government has stated that the project's construction is in its first phase and is currently about 21% complete.
Ecuador Vice President Jorge Glas told Reuters: "Above all, we've advanced a lot in the realisation of investments, and they comprise capital contributions from the (original) partners and the new partner."
The Pacifico refinery is expected to reduce domestic fuel costs in Ecuador, which produces approximately 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day but imports oil products due to its low refining capacity.
In February 2010, CNPC and Costa Rica's Recope said that they planned to upgrade a refinery in the Central American country at an expected cost of $1bn.
The upgrade would triple the size of Costa Rica's only oil refinery by 2015.