By KONSTANTIN ROZHNOV
Royal Dutch Shell, Royal Vopak and Greenergy have agreed to
buy the majority of the assets of Petroplus Coryton refinery in England to turn it into
an import and distribution terminal, the administrator of
Petroplus's UK subsidiaries, the companies and the UK
government said Tuesday.
The terminal will be managed by Vopak.
The sale will be completed within several months, once the
current refinery closure process has been
concluded, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the administrator, said in a
The site is of exceptional value as an import terminal
because of its location and amenities, so it is not surprising
that it has had a higher sale value as an import terminal [than
a refinery]," UK Energy Minister
Charles Hendry said in a statement.
There is no change to the redundancy program announced earlier
in June, with 180 jobs to be cut by the end of June and further
redundancies anticipated from late July onward as the closure
progresses, PWC said.
The facility employs around 500 permanent workers.
"It is expected that a small number of employees and
contractors will be retained to provide site security beyond
the end of the summer," the administrator added.
"This move will provide a long term, secure supply for our
customers in the UK and will support the recent expansion of our retail network,
delivering competitive supply chain costs," Graham van't Hoff,
chairman of Shell UK, said in a statement.
Before Petroplus lost access to all its credit lines and
then filed for insolvency in January, Coryton was supplying
around 10% of the UKs fuel market.
"Vopak, Greenergy and Shell have committed to investing a
substantial amount in the site to develop it as a
state-of-the-art import terminal," Mr. Hendry said.
The three companies said in a statement they will be equal
shareholders of the new joint venture, which will acquire and
develop the Coryton assets and the site.
When the future design and operational capabilities are
agreed, Vopak will develop the new facility and will operate
the terminal after the works have been completed, while
Greenergy and Shell will sign long-term contracts with the
joint venture, the companies said.
"The UK will have a new import terminal and its first
deep-water product jetty," said Mr. Hendry. "This will allow
low-cost high quality diesel to be imported, thereby enhancing
security of supply for London and the southeast, and more
affordable prices at the pumps."
Dow Jones Newswires