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Punto Fijo is the capital city of the municipality of Carirubana in northern Falcón State, Venezuela. It is located on the southwestern coast of the Paraguaná Peninsula. Its metropolitan area includes the parishes of Norte, Carirubana, Punta Cardón and the parish of Judibana in the municipality of Los Taques. Punto Fijo is the largest city in Falcón State.
Punto Fijo was founded in the early 1940s, on the outskirts of two refinery operations established by Standard Oil and Shell during the 1940s. Punto Fijo has an estimated population of 270,000 (est. 2002 census) mostly in the urban center.
Punto Fijo's name is commonly attributed to the late Rafael González Estaba, former city historian, who said that the place where the city now stands was a common stop (the "fixed point") for passers-by and fishermen.
Punto Fijo has the world's largest oil refinery complex, the Paraguaná Refinery Complex (CRP is its Spanish acronym), which consists of the Amuay and Cardón Refineries (both part of the CRP). The operation refines around 1MM barrels per day, and all of these petroleum products are fuel for the local and regional economy. Also, Punto Fijo possesses the second most important fishing fleet in Venezuela, and has an industrial zone where electronics plants and light machinery plants are located.
Nowadays Punto Fijo is experiencing growth in its commercial activity because of the implementation of a Free Zone for Turistic Investment, that allows to import goods (electronics, alcoholic beverages, textiles, and so on) free of national taxes. Now the city boasts growing settlements of important investment groups. This has made it necessary to improve roads, hotels, electric power grids, and general services infrastructure.
The progressive development that Punto Fijo is facing currently has given incentive to local, municipal, state and national authorities to carry out public building works that the city needed years ago. This includes the main bus station, repairs to public roads, and settlement of a new thermoelectricity energy plant "Josefa Camejo". The private sector has made investments as well, like the Sambil Mall Paraguaná, and Paraguná Mall. These new complexes now join the most important mall in the city: Centro Comercial y Recreacional Las Virtudes.
Punto Fijo is crisscrossed from north to south and east to west by numerous avenues. A new bus terminal is under construction and expected to be ready by beginning 2010. The city is linked to Coro with a modern two-laned highway passing through the whole isthmus offering great views of the Médanos de Coro National Park as well as flora found in this semi-arid region. The air transport needs of Punto Fijo's are served by Las Piedras Airport, also known as Josefa Camejo International Airport.
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- (Spanish) "Paraguaná: la península de la amistad" by Rafael Aranguren, Venezuela Analítica, retrieved November 3, 2005.