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    CITGO CEO Receives Helping Hand Award

    Houston Minority Supplier Development Council presented the award in recognition of the company¿s efforts in helping grow minority-owned businesses.

    HOUSTON -- CITGO Chairman, President and CEO Alejandro Granado received the Helping Hand Award presented by the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council during a ceremony at the Hilton Americas in downtown Houston, in recognition of the company’s efforts to help grow minority-owned businesses, the company reported.

    "Just a year ago, we were launching a series of supplier diversity networking events right here in Houston," Granado told attendees as he received the award. "Since then, CITGO has more than doubled the percentage of purchases from minority- and woman-owned businesses, as part of our social development initiatives in every community where we operate. We do this in strict alignment with the unwavering solidarity principles endorsed by CITGO’s parent company, PDVSA, the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela."

    Last year, CITGO hosted four supplier diversity networking events in Houston, Lake Charles, La.; Corpus Christi, Texas; and Lemont, Ill.

    "Before this initiative, only 263 diversity businesses were eligible to participate in our supply chain and just $46 million per year were spent to get their goods and services," Granado said. "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, with purchases estimated at $100 million for 2009."

    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, which makes CITGO a company of about 60,000 people.

    "CITGO’s supplier diversity effort offers our potential business minority partners access to this tremendous pool of resources to help them grow and, above all, to improve the quality of life for them and their communities," Granado said. "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."

    The Helping Hand Award is added to several awards CITGO has received this year, including nine refining safety performance awards from the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA).

    Additionally, Talento Bilingüe de Houston, a non-profit organization that has evolved into the city’s Latino Cultural Arts Center, chose CITGO as the recipient of the organization’s prestigious Corporation of the Year 2008 Award for its support to the Latino and minority communities.

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