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CITGO President Wins Helping Hand Award for Supporting Small Minority-Owned Businesses

Alejandro Granado, president of CITGO, a U.S affiliate of PDVSA, received the Helping Hand Award, given by the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council, in recognition of efforts made to maximize the participation of small minority and women-owned businesses in the corporate supply chain.

“Just a year ago, we were launching a series of supplier diversity events.
Since then, CITGO has more than doubled the percentage of purchases from minority and woman-owned businesses. This effort is part of our social development initiatives in every community where we operate, in strict alignment with the unwavering solidarity principles of the Bolivarian Government, led by President Hugo Chavez, through CITGO’s parent company, PDVSA, the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,”emphasized Granado. The winner is selected by the votes of minority-owned businesses that are members of the Council of Minority Suppliers of Houston.

Last year, CITGO organized events to promote the diversification of providers in the city of Houston and also in Lake Charles, Louisiana; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Lemont, Illinois. “Before this initiative, only 263 small minority-owned businesses were eligible to participate in our supply chain and just 46 million dollars per year were spent on their goods and services. Today, especially in this current economic crisis, I am proud to announce that we have a total of 524 minority and woman-owned businesses registered in our database and many of them are already conducting business with CITGO. For 2009, we estimate the purchases at 100 million dollars,”
Ganado pointed out.

CITGO is one of the largest refiners in the U.S. with a total processing capacity of 749 thousand barrels per day. It has three refineries, 47 refined petroleum product terminals, approximately 4,000 employees and a network of nearly 7,000 independently-owned and operated CITGO-branded service stations. This makes CITGO a company of about 60,000 people.

“The efforts of CITGO to diversify its list of providers offer our small minority and women-owned businesses access to important resources to help them grow, and above all, improve their quality of life and that of their communities. Furthermore, our efforts have allowed an increase in the number of minority and women-owned businesses registered as potential suppliers in critical refining activities, such as crane operations, excavation and general plant maintenance. Their bids have been highly competitive,” added Granado.

Granado concluded by thanking the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council which represents more than 250 corporations and more than 900 minority-owned businesses that share a common mission to increase the number of work opportunities and growth for the most vulnerable sectors in the system of providers of goods and services to the refining industry.

The Helping Hand Award was added to the list of various prizes received by CITGO this year, among others, 9 refining safety performance awards from the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA). Additionally, Talento Bilingüe de Houston, a non-profit organization that has become the city’s Latino Cultural Arts Center, awarded CITGO the prestigious 2008 Corporation of the Year Award for its support to Latino and minority communities.

Department of Public Affairs
Citgo Petroleum Corporation

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