The Ecuadorian Ministry of Energy and Non-renewable Resources (“the Ministry”) recently announced a tender process for the Administration, Operation, Repair, Fuel and Emissions Quality Improvement, and Construction of a High-Conversion Unit, for the State-owned Refinery in Esmeraldas Province.

The estimated total investment for this project is US$2.4 billion and is aimed at refurbishing the Esmeralda's refinery in order to contribute to meeting the country's demand for fuel and improve its quality. The agreement will have a 25-year term and will include a dispute resolution clause subject to international arbitration.

Bids are expected to be received and reviewed by December of this year. For more information regarding other stages of the tender process, please refer to the timeline set out below:

Start Date

End Date

Public tender launch

September 21, 2020

September 22, 2020

Technical visits to refinery

September 21, 2020

October 16, 2020

Inquiries, answers and clarifications

September 21, 2020

October 16, 2020

Term to prepare bids

September 29, 2020

December 21, 2020

Submission of bids

December 22, 2020

December 23, 2020

Evaluation of technical offers

December 28, 2020

January 11, 2021

Appeal phase and decision

January 12, 2021

January 15, 2021

Evaluation of economic offers and reports

January 18, 2021

January 25, 2021

Appeal phase and decision

January 26, 2021

January 29, 2021

Technical Committee final report

February 01, 2021

February 10, 2021

Publication of the award decision

February 12, 2021

February 12, 2021

Negotiation phase

February 15, 2021

March 05, 2021


Interested parties will be able to purchase the tender documents from the Ministry. View the Ministry's official statement.

Please contact Latin America affinity group members Gregory Tan (New York-Project Development & Finance), Manuel Orillac (Houston-Capital Markets), Christian Rudloff (New York- Project Development & Finance) or Augusto Ruiloba (New York-Project Development & Finance) should you have any queries in connection with this matter. 

Ranked as a top-tier law firm in energy and natural resources in Latin America by leading legal directories, Shearman & Sterling continues to be at the forefront of the most complex and innovative transactions in the oil and gas industry. Our Oil and Gas Group lawyers are based throughout our offices and advise on cutting-edge transactions around the world. Across all areas of the industry—from upstream exploration and production to refineries, pipelines, LNG projects, terminals and petrochemicals—we have an established reputation for doing more than identifying legal issues. Shearman & Sterling's experience in Ecuador includes various significant projects in the natural resources sector, including the financing of the OCP pipeline and the development and financing of the Fruta del Norte mining project.

Originally published by Shearman & Sterling, September 2020

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