French refinery shutdown to drive up Lubrizol supply chain costs

17 January 2012 13:38  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US specialty chemicals firm Lubrizol expects to see increased costs in its base oil supply chain in France following the shutdown of Petroplus’s Petit Couronne refinery, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Switzerland-based Petroplus this month temporarily shut down operations at three of its five European refineries, including the 161,800 bbl/day Petit Couronne plant in northwest France, after lenders froze $1bn (€780m) in credit lines.

Julie Young, spokesperson for Ohio-based specialty chemicals and lubricants additive producer Lubrizol told ICIS the implementation of alternative supply chain plans for the company’s plants in France would inevitably result in higher costs.

Lubrizol has manufacturing facilities in Le Havre, Rouen and Mourenx for additives that are used in fuels, gear oils, metalworking, and engine oils.

Young did not disclose specific capacity information.

“Lubrizol understands the importance of a secure global supply chain,” she said.

“Lubrizol has a long tradition of working closely with its suppliers to ensure it can meet the additive needs of its customers’ worldwide, [the Petit Couronne shutdown] is no different,” she added.

Lubrizol is part of Warren Buffetts’ Berkshire Hathaway group. The US billionaire investor acquired Lubrizol last year in a $9.7bn deal.

Petroplus’ overall throughput capacity from its five European refineries is 667,000 bbl/day. The company employs more than 2,500 workers in Europe.

($1 = €0.79)

For more on Lubrizol and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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