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

The crown jewel of Mexico President AMLO’s energy agenda is behind schedule and overbudget

The Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Dos Bocas Refinery under construction in Paraiso, Tabasco state, Mexico, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2021. 

The Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Dos Bocas Refinery under construction in Paraiso, Tabasco state, Mexico, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2021. 

Photographer: Cesar Rodriguez/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.