Azerbaijan's SOCAR seen as bidder for Petroplus Swiss refinery

30 March 2012 16:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Azerbaijan’s state oil and petrochemicals company SOCAR is seen as interested in acquiring the 68,000 bbl/day Swiss Cressier refinery of insolvent Petroplus, according to reports on Friday.

Petroplus shut down the Cressier refinery shortly before it filed for insolvency in January.

In November last year, SOCAR said it planned to acquire the Swiss downstream fuels business of ExxonMobil, Esso Schweiz, which includes more than 170 petrol service stations. That deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2012.

An official at SOCAR’s offices in Switzerland declined to comment on the latest reports, and Petroplus’s Swiss insolvency administrator did not return a call requesting comment.

Petroplus said it could not comment on the status of its five refineries, as the plants are now under the control of insolvency administrators in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, and the UK.

Petroplus added that it plans to delist its shares from Switzerland’s SIX stock exchange, with the last day of trading expected to be 11 May. The shares were down 20% to Swiss francs (Swfr) 0.19/share (€0.16/share) at 16:09 Switzerland local time.

In related news, a Swiss regional authority said last week it would not allow the restart of the Tamoil refinery at Collombey if the refinery does not implement a number of environmental improvements during upcoming maintenance turnarounds.

The plants at Cressier and Collombey are Switzerland’s only refineries.

(€1 = Swfr1.20)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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