Companies from Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States are carrying out technical inspections of four large oil and gas projects in Ecuador to determine whether irregularities have occurred, a senior government official reported on Tuesday.
The private secretary of the Ecuadorian Presidency, Juan Sebastián Roldán, today revealed the nationality of the winning firms of the international call to specialized companies convened by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Ecuador, without disclosing their names, "so as not to put the investigation process at risk".
He clarified that once the results of his work are delivered, he will inform about which companies are involved.
These projects are the Esmeraldas Refinery, the Pacific Petrochemical Complex, the Bajo Alto Gas Plant, the Pascuales-Cuenca Poliducto and the Monteverde-Chorrillos gas storage system.
In a press conference held in the presidential palace of Carondelet, Roldán pointed out that the Refinería del Pacífico complex is investigated by a company from the United Kingdom, while the Monteverde-Chorrillos company by a Spanish company.
Also, the Pascuales-Cuenca Poliducto by an American and the Gas Plant of Bajo Alto by a Spanish company.
He said that the Esmeraldas Refinery, another of the country's emblematic projects, will be investigated by another international firm whose tender will soon be announced.
The secretary added that companies are expected to disclose the results of the investigations within 60 to 90 days, and that the purpose of these is to "see if (the projects) have surcharges or corruption."
"The President of the Republic (Lenin Moreno) and the Secretary General of the UN (António Guterres) refined the cooperation between the State and the UN so that (the investigation) is the beginning so that the Ecuadorian State can clarify what happened in the past and the present, "he said.
Last May UNDP announced the call for technical evaluation of oil projects, with the aim of having a specialized approach that impartially determines the current status of projects and, if applicable, the measures that should be undertaken to bring them in line with international standards.