02 August 2007 13:54 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Basell has agreed to buy Shell’s 80,000 bbl/day refinery at Berre l'Etang in southern France for $700m to support its European polyolefins business, the plastics maker said on Thursday.
The Basell agreement is one of two struck under which Shell will sell its three refineries in ?xml:namespace>
The Berre deal will give vital upstream integration to one of Basell’s most important production sites. The polyolefins maker is the largest customer of the refinery, whose products include naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), fuels bitumen and heating oil.
In 2006 Basell bought from Shell the 50% of the steam cracker at Berre it did not own, as well as the butadiene unit. Basell has the capacity to produce 430,000 tonnes/year of linear low density polyethylene (LPDE) at Berre and nearby Fos sur mer and 350,000 tonnes/year of polypropylene (PP) at Berre.
“The refinery is of strategic importance to Basell because it provides a further backward integration of our activities at the Berre site, one of our core European sites,” said Basell CEO Volker Trautz.
The refinery products support Basell's operations and the acquisition means that existing interfaces can be operated more effectively, he added.
“The [Berre] refinery has a lot of expansion potential,” added a Basell spokesman.
“The deal is consistent with our strategy of ‘more upstream, profitable downstream’ where we aim to focus and simplify the portfolio of the downstream business to those areas that give us the best returns and allow us to use capital to invest in growth markets,” said Shell head of oil products and chemicals Rob Routs.
Shell said earlier this year it was reviewing the future of its three refineries in
Basell struck a $19bn deal last month to acquire US-based petrochemicals major Lyondell, giving it significantly more upstream integration in the
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