LyondellBasell's Berre refinery to restart Monday as strike ends

10 October 2011 10:48  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--LyondellBasell’s refinery at Berre L’Etang, France, is due to restart on Monday as employees returned to work after a 10-day strike, according to news reports.  

The Dutch petrochemical company’s management has decided to restart the plant for three months, according to officials at the company and a French trade union, cited by Reuters news agency on Saturday.

LyondellBasell’s refinery will operate until 31 December before being mothballed for two years, allowing time to find a possible buyer for the facility, Reuters said.

The company was not available for immediate comment on Monday.

Industrial action was initially triggered when LyondellBasell announced it intended to close its 105,000 bbl/day refinery at Berre L’Etang, having failed to find a buyer for the asset. About 370 jobs would have been affected.

The strike action forced LyondellBasell to shut its refinery and petrochemical site on 27 September.

The refinery is operated by LyondellBasell subsidiary Compagnie Petrochimique de Berre. The petrochemical assets include a steam cracker and worldscale polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) plants, owned and operated by another subsidiary.

LyondellBasell forerunner Basell agreed at the end of 2005 to buy the former Shell refinery at Berre L’Etang for $700m (€525m) to provide greater upstream integration for its co-located petrochemical assets.

LyondellBasell said in May this year that it was seeking a buyer for the refinery. Analysts estimated at the time that the company might gain $500m from the sale.

The site is also host to several other chemical companies, and is one of the largest petrochemical complexes in southern Europe.

($1 = €0.75)

For more on LyondellBasell visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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