LIMA, March 19 (Reuters) - Peru’s state-owned energy company Petroperu will halt operations at its flagship oil refinery Talara for about a year starting in November to complete a $5 billion expansion project, the company said on Tuesday.
Petroperu said it plans to import fuel in that period to ensure demand is met in the Andean country of about 30 million people. It did not specify what kind of fuel it would import.
Petroperu would continue to buy oil from companies that operate in Peru and would process the oil at its Conchan refinery, the company said in a statement.
Talara, on Peru’s northern Pacific coast, is the second largest oil refinery in Peru after Repsol’s Pampilla.
The $5 billion project to upgrade Talara, expanding its processing capacity to 95,000 barrels of oil per day from 65,000, started in 2014 and is about 73 percent complete.
Peru is a net oil importer. Petroperu said Peru’s fuel imports will fall significantly once the expansion is complete, which it estimated would happen at the end of 2020. (Reporting By Mitra Taj; editing by Grant McCool)