After selling its domestic oil business to Russia’s Rosneft and partners for $12.9 billion, Essar Group has no plans to sell its Stanlow refinery in the UK, a senior company official said.
Essar Oil (UK) Ltd Chief Executive S Thangapandian said announcement of fresh investments of $250 million in upgrade and expansion of Stanlow shows the group’s commitment to stay invested in the sector.
“The investments which are being made goes to show that the promoters want to stay invested in oil and gas sector,” he told PTI. “We are sure they will stay invested in oil and gas and Stanlow refinery.”
Essar Oil (UK) Ltd, the firm that owns and operators the Stanlow refinery, is owned by billionaire Ruia brothers’ Essar Group, which had sold Essar Oil to Rosneft last month.
Rosneft, the world’s largest listed oil company, acquired 49 per cent stake in Essar Oil, which operates a 20 million tonnes a year Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, the adjacent port and about 3,500 petrol pumps.
Netherlands-based Trafigura Group Pte, one of the world’s biggest commodity trading companies, and Russian investment fund United Capital Partners split another 49 per cent equity.
Stanlow as also the coal-bed methane (CBM) business of the company was not part of the sale.
Sited on a 770-hectare industrialised area of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, Stanlow supplies 16 per cent of all road transport fuels in the UK, Thangapandian said.
He said the new investment would boost the crude oil throughput at Stanlow to 9.7 million tonnes by March 2018 from current 9.09 million tonnes.
Also, the company is targeting 400 petrol pumps in the UK in five years from the current 39.
The investment in the revamping of certain units of the refinery would help cut down on crude oil processing cost, improve product slate and lead to marginal increase in capacity, he said.
He said the promoters have so far invested $800 million in Stanlow since acquiring it from Royal Dutch Shell in 2011.
Essar had paid Shell $350 million to buy Stanlow, the UK’s second largest refinery.
Stanlow has a capacity of 296,000 barrels per day (14.8 million tonnes per annum) but operates at much lesser capacity. Read more
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