Petroplus Coryton refinery sale attracts interest – UK energy minister

02 February 2012 16:54  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Petroplus’s search to sell its Coryton refinery in the UK has attracted a lot of interest from companies all around the world, energy minister Charles Hendry said on Thursday.

Hendry was chairing a meeting of interested parties, including local politicians, industry and unions, to discuss the future of the Coryton refinery at the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in London.

“I understand there have been over 40 expressions of interest in Coryton from companies around the world, which is extremely encouraging,” Hendry said.

“Work will now focus on securing a sustainable long-term future for the refinery,” he added.

The meeting is the second the energy minister has convened since the refinery was placed in the control of consulting and auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which was appointed administrator for Petroplus’s UK sites after the refiner filed for insolvency last week.

Switzerland-based Petroplus was unable to reach an agreement with its lenders and could not continue to fund its subsidiaries.

On 31 January, Petroplus was granted more time to find a buyer for the Coryton refinery after a deal was struck to process a cargo of oil at the 220,000 bbl/day facility.

PwC said discussions have been ongoing with a number of parties that have expressed an interest in sustaining refining at the site, adding that the oil purchase had allowed more time for those discussions to be assessed by all parties.

“The deal last week that allowed petrol and diesel to be delivered to forecourts from the refinery was a crucial boost, while the crude oil delivery acquired on Tuesday was important to maintaining refining operations,” Hendry said at Thursday’s meeting.

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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