Under the contract, ICA Fluor, an industrial engineering and construction joint venture between Fluor and Empresas, will provide EPC services for the utilities and offsites as part of the refinery upgrade project.

ICA Fluor director general Juan Carlos Santos Fernandez said: "This project is a major step to increase Pemex’s competitiveness.

"We are proud to be in the position to support them in the development of the strategic projects required by the country, providing Mexican engineering and construction resources."

Upon completion of the upgrade project, the refinery is expected to increase processing capacity from 315,000 barrels per day to 340,000 barrels per day.

The project’s mechanical completion is planned to for the second quarter of 2018.

In 2013, ICA Fluor was selected by Pemex to develop the first phase of the residue recovery project the Miguel Hidalgo Refinery.

Pemex also awarded a $1.3bn contract to ICA Fluor in 2014 for the construction of the delayed coker unit for installation at the Miguel Hidalgo Refinery.

The latest contract comes after Pemex was reportedly seeking partners to fund the construction and installation of coking units at its refineries located in Salina Cruz, Tula and Salamanca, Mexico.

Reuters cited a company executive as saying that the major refinery upgrades, which are expected to cost $12.3bn, are intended to convert more heavy crude into higher-value fuels like gasoline.

Pemex Industrial Transformation division marketing head Juan Marcelo Parizot said that the upgrade projects are expected to increase fuel production by more than a fifth and also profit margins by about $6 per barrel of crude oil processed.

Image: Pemex seeks partners for three major refinery upgrade projects in Mexico. Photo: courtesy of meepoohfoto/