Mexico’s Largest Refinery Is Now Open. It’s Just Not Making Any Fuel

(Bloomberg) -- The site of Mexico’s newest oil refinery looks more like a tech campus than a place where dirty crude is processed into gasoline and diesel.

Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook impeccably green lawns and shimmering fountains while, outside, stands a constant reminder of Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s hopes for the project: four stone pillars inscribed with the words “Fourth Transformation” — a reference to the president’s plan to revitalize Mexico.

The only thing missing? The whir of refining equipment. Though the plant officially opened Friday in a ceremony attended by the president himself, the units designed to distill oil into gasoline stood quiet and idle next to construction equipment that suggested there’s still more work to be done.

“We're getting ready to stop importing gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, in order to be self-sufficient, create employment in the country, and direct these fuels at the internal market and national development,” said AMLO, as the president is known, flanked by Energy Minister Rocio Nahle and Petroleos Mexicanos Chief Executive Officer Octavio Romero Oropeza.