Curacao's Investment Climate
  Sector Opportunities
  Project Name: Asphalt Lake
Project Type: Environmental Cleanup / Waste Recylcing / Land reclaimation / Mixed-use Development

Project Description
During World War II, the Shell refinery on Curacao produced a substantial quantity of fuel for the Allied forces. At that time the market demand for light oil products was higher than for heavy oil products, causing an over production of asphalt. Since the asphalt was of no use at the moment, it was pumped close to the refinery. This spot was later called “asphalt lake”. It is estimated that 1.5 million ton was dumped in the lake during the war.

A chemical waste lake at the same location of the asphalt lake, is another heritage from Shell. Useless- residues, in particular those of lubricating oil refining processes, were dumped. Asphalt is also found at this lake because since 1942 Shell also used it as a dump for asphalt.

Part of the asphalt lake has been removed by a company named NARECO. (Netherlands Antilles Recycling Company limited). Upon instructions from Shell, considerable quantities were removed in 1984 and 1985.

The NARECO plant operates as follows:

A crane scoops asphalt from the lake into a large reservoir;
This reservoir is heated by steam which liquifies the asphalt, after which waste (soil) and asphalt are separated;
Then the asphalt is heated (160 C), filtered, and put into storage tanks;
In these tanks diluent is added to alter viscosity;
Then it is pumped to the refinery's fuel oil pool where it is mixed with lighter oil products such as fuel oil no. 5 and 6.

The asphalt and chemical waste lake with surrounding areas (a total of apppr. 80 hectares) are managed by Buskabaai N.V., but are owned by the government of Curacao and Curoil the custodian. After Shell left the island, asphalt processing was stopped temporarily. A year later, activities resumed although production levels were much lower, making a profitable operation for NARECO impossible. Finally NARECO stopped its operation in1987. The chemical waste lake has no commercial value whatsoever and is considered very toxic.

The following production volumes are estimated:
Wet Pitch 1,600,000 Barrels;
Dry Pitch 1,400,000 Barrels;
Total 3,000,000 Barrels;
Chemical waste lake 34.150 ton

Investors' Opportunity:
Processing of the oily portion of the asphalt lake;
Soil remediation; (including removal of the chemical waste lake);
Land reclamation and Harbour expansion;
Real Estate Development and master planning

Geo Strategy Partners
Mark Towery
Managing Director
7840 Roswell Road
Building 300, Suite 350
Atlanta, GA 30350
T: 770-650-8495
C: 404-372-3686
F: 678-441-9417