Top independent oil refinery restoring output after hiatus

The Antipinsky oil plant, Russia’s largest independent refinery, is on track to more than double its output this month following suspension of its operations for more than two months, the plant’s head told Reuters.

The refinery, located in western Siberia, with an annual capacity of 9 million tonnes (181,000 barrels per day), temporarily halted oil processing in April through June amid financial problems that led to the arrival of new owners and bankruptcy proceedings.

Maxim Andriasov, the refinery’s director general, said the plant plans to process up to 550,000 tonnes of oil in August, up from around 200,000 tonnes in July.

The plant’s former owner, Dmitry Mazurov, was arrested last month on suspicion of embezzlement. He denies wrongdoing, while claims against the refinery as part of its bankruptcy case amount to more than 346.5 billion roubles ($5.3 billion).

Andriasov also said Russian oil major Surgutneftegaz would be the main supplier of oil to the plant.

SOCAR Energoresource, a joint venture between Russia’s largest lender Sberbank and a group of investors, holds an 80% stake in the refinery. Sberbank has said it was in talks with potential investors in the plant.

Reporting by Natalia Chumakova and Tatiana Voronova Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Katya Golubkova and David Holmes

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