Sun, 11 Apr 2021

MEXICO CITY, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced on Wednesday that state-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) reached an agreement with Brazil's Odebrecht to renegotiate a contract for the supply of ethane gas, which it considered "unfair," with one of its subsidiaries.

In his daily morning press conference, the president explained that the company Braskem Idesa will pay more for the supply of gas in the agreement with Pemex, which will allow savings of 13,749 million pesos (about 667 million U.S. dollars).

In an effort to stop corruption and impunity, Lopez Obrador said, "That is why we have reviewed contracts that we considered unfair, that were signed so national and foreign individuals could make lucrative deals under the protection of public authority at the expense of the budget, which is the people's money," he added.

Director General of Pemex Octavio Romero pointed out that the original 20-year agreement, which has been "detrimental" to the Mexican company, was signed in February 2010 during the administration of former President Felipe Calderon.

According to Romero, the agreement on the petrochemical plant Etileno XXI in the state of Veracruz established that if Pemex did not deliver the ethane gas agreed upon, it would have to pay penalties of up to 200 percent of the cost.

On Feb. 26, Pemex and Braskem Idesa signed an agreement modifying the contract, which said that the Mexican company will not have to pay penalties generated since the start of the current administration in December 2018, which is estimated at 147 million U.S. dollars.

Odebrecht was embroiled in a scandal after admitting to having paid bribes in 12 countries for up to about 778 million U.S. dollars.

Former Director General of Pemex Emilio Lozoya is currently facing legal proceedings over the Odebrecht scheme as well as a case of alleged use of illicit funds linked to Pemex's million-dollar purchase of a fertilizer plant.

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