Ancap will start this Monday maintenance tasks at the La Teja refinery. The work will take several days longer than initially planned. In the last hours the union of Fancap resolved that there will be no double shift. This situation will delay the start of production in the industrial complex and also represents an economic loss for the entity.
Every time it’s done a maintenance stop what is done is to maximize inventories, and depending on the forecast demand and the expected duration of the tasks, it is evaluated if it is necessary to import fuels. Initially, for a stop like the scheduled one, it was not necessary.
However, anticipating the eventuality of union action, in mid-August Ancap’s Board had ordered the importation of 6,000 m3 of LPG and 10,000 m3 of gasoline. This implied an expense of US$ 13.3 million more than what was expected, as reported by the company.
At the end of last week, and with the confirmation of union measures, the entity’s Board of Directors decided to import 9,500 m3 of diesel to avoid having stock problems.
The president of Ancap, Alejandro Stipanicic, explained to The Observer that in the tender no offers were received for the requested quality and specification, so it was finally decided to repurchase diesel that had been sold to UTE and that next month the electric company would not need for generation.
On the other hand, Stipanicic explained that the union’s decision not to work at night “affects several jobs”, in particular the one that determines the duration of the shutdown, and which consists of the inspection, unblocking and cleaning of certain heat exchangers.
“The work is done with the assistance of a team that came from Argentina especially and by its nature it must be done continuously. It was expected to be able to do it in five days, now we estimate between 10 and 12 days, ”he said.
In short, because production start will be delayed 5-7 days more than programmed, the economic impact will be double. This for the Loss of refining margin on days when crude oil is not processed at La Teja (calculated at US$ 1 million per day). To date, it is already estimated that at least US$ 5 million will be added.
To that is added the additional import of fuels already resolved beforehand so as not to run the risk of shortages in the domestic market.
Dining halls, vacancies and Portland
The Fancap union had warned in August about the possibility of measures in the maintenance and logistics sector. A letter had textually proposed “use the next strike of units as an element of pressure.”
The main claims are linked to the elimination of dining rooms with own food preparation in the company’s plants, a decision that Ancap’s Board of Directors adopted in 2020, and to the request for entry of more personnel. The union maintains that there are around 310 vacancies currently. In parallel, there is another point that today generates the underlying conflict and that is the association with a private person in the Portland business, a point that the union rejects.
The union maintains that the only measure that will be adopted at the La Teja refinery is not to enable some 20 officials to work at night during the stoppage, and that the tasks will be carried out in the usual regime and even with overtime, according to Fancap’s vice president, Rodrigo Arada, told El País on Friday.
Meanwhile, the former leader of Fancap, Gerardo Rodríguez, stated on his Twitter account that “it is not true that there is a need to import fuel for a week of work delays,” given that “the security stock must be at least two months, he wrote.