Petroplus UK administrators need $1bn to keep refinery operating

06 March 2012 14:55  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The administrators of Petroplus’s business in the UK need about  $1bn (€760m) of new financing to continue operations at the insolvent company’s refinery at Coryton, Essex, over the medium term, they said in a proposal to creditors on Tuesday.

If refinancing and restructuring is impossible, they will sell or close the 220,000 bbl/day refinery, they said.

Administrators Steven Pearson and Stephen Oldfield, from UK offices of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), did not disclose how much money they are seeking for the refinery or with which potential buyers they may be negotiating.

“We do not disclose that information,” PwC spokeswoman Katherine Howbrook said.

In their proposal, the administrators said that Petroplus’s UK business, including the refinery, has a book value of about $1.3bn. Petroplus also has about $250m of accounts receivable, mainly from other Petroplus companies across Europe, which are also in insolvency proceedings, they said.

Switzerland-based Petroplus filed for insolvency in January after lenders froze about $1bn in credit lines in late December. The insolvency affected Petroplus’s five refineries in Europe, including the one in the UK.

Last week, Petroplus administrators in Belgium agreed to sell the company’s 107,500 bbl/day refinery at Antwerp to oil trader Gunvor.

Earlier, Shell agreed to help fund the restart of Petroplus’s 161,800 bbl/day refinery at Petit Couronne, France. Meanwhile, administrators in Germany and Switzerland are seeking investors for the Petroplus refineries in those countries. 

($1 = €0.76)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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