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Metro Refinería

Metro Refineria
Foto: GAED en Wikimedia Commons

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Metro Refineria is on Metro Line 7, and is often noted to be the deepest of all Metro stations, below ground.

The station logo shows the three Pemex tanks as they would have appeared on the grounds of the nearby refinery. The refinery was built in 1934 with the task of processing 11,000 barrels of oil per day. A huge amount at the time. In 1945, the original refinery had to be abandoned in favor of a new facility to process 50,000 barrels per day. Just ten years later, new equipment was installed to double capacity again.

Part of the reason the area is so famous is due to its expropriation by the state. The original refinery had been built by Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company, already a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, in 1933. The complex was established on a 60-hectare site, and eventually expanded to some 174 hectares.

When the refinery was nationalized along with the rest of the oil industry by President Lázaro Cárdenas in 1938, it became the property of the federal government. Thereafter called Refinería 18 de Marzo, the plant began producing some 7,500 barrels of oil per day for the federal government. It remains a controversial and proud act of government for many Mexicans even today.

The subsoil beneath the refinery was heavily contaminated from years of this work. The plant was finally shut down in 1991. From 1995 to 2000, a program was implemented to build a park under an initiative that demolished the factory and cleaned up after the refinery. The result is Parque Bicentenario, which is by far the most popular reason for international visitors to visit Metro Refinery.

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