News From OilFiredUp
Petroplus Administrators Announce Coryton Lifeline
17th February 2012
The Administrators of Petroplus Refining & Marketing Limited, owners of the Coryton Oil Refinery, have announced a lifeline for the beleaguered refinery, after signing an agreement to ensure crude oil deliveries for the next 3 months
The agreement has been signed with a collaboration of Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc., KKR Asset Management, LLC, and AtlasInvest. The arrangement allows the refinery to operate as normal, whilst the feasibility of a permanent solution for the refinery is explored. Options being explored include refinancing or a sale of the business.
Steven Pearson, Joint Administrator and Partner at PwC said, "I am delighted to have reached this arrangement. It is the culmination of constructive negotiations over many days and it creates vital stability at the refinery whilst we find a restructuring solution. We now look forward to working with MSCGI, KKR and Atlas over the coming weeks and months to jointly ensure all long-term options are examined."
"I would also like to personally thank the customers, suppliers, employees, union, subcontractors, management and the PwC and legal teams for their constructive approach in allowing us to reach this agreement. This collaborative approach has been central to ensuring this arrangement could be concluded so quickly in very difficult circumstances."
Speaking after the news was announced, Energy Minister Charles Hendry said, "This is excellent progress for Coryton refinery. It provides the business and its employees with a period of stability, keeps the facility operational and gives the administrators time to work on a long term solution for the site.
"This has been an outstanding example of the whole local community working together to support the Administrator. My thanks to everyone concerned for the work done so far."
The Coryton refinery is the last of three major refineries on the Thames Estuary to remain in operation. The origins of the Coryton site can be traced back to 1919, when the site was acquired by coal merchants Cory Brothers to build an oil storage depot. In 1950, the depot was sold to the Vacuum Oil Company - a predecessor of Mobil, and under whose guardianship a new refinery complex was built in 1953. In 2000, the refinery became a wholly owned subsidiary of BP, before being sold to Petroplus in 2007 for over £700m. The refinery has a capacity of 10 million tonnes per annum, including up to 1.1 million litres of heating oil / Jet A1 aviation fuel.