Refinadora Costarricense de Petroleo, or Recope, said it was working to develop a new fuel plan amid problems with its $1.3 billion joint refinery project with China.

A new fuel production strategy will be developed over the next six months, with the refinery still being considered a part of the plan, Recope said.

"Refining, asphalt production, use of refining byproducts, the incorporation of biofuels, natural gas and liquefied gas are all part of the energy mix for transportation," the state-owned company said.

Work on the refinery being built by Recope and China National Petroleum Corporation International, or CNPCI, was halted last week while still in the pre-construction phase by the Office of the Comptroller of the Republic, which found problems and contract violations in the viability study.

The comptroller's office cited a failure to comply with the terms of the contract because HQCEC, the Chinese company that conducted the viability study, has a relationship with CNPCI.

The joint refinery project would expand the capacity of the refinery in the Caribbean port city of Moin from 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 60,000 bpd.

China Development Bank is expected to provide $900 million, or 70 percent, of the financing for the project, with the other 30 percent coming from Recope and CNPCI. EFE