Trafigura Acquires Blend Plant in Argentina

Trafigura Group Pte. Ltd. closed last month on the purchase of most of Pampa Energias downstream assets in Argentina. The transaction includes a lubricants manufacturing plant in Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, Trafigura reported in a press release.

The sale also included more than 250 service stations; the Ricardo Elicabe refinery located in Bahia Blanca, Buenos Aires province; and a fuel storage terminal in Caleta Paula, Santa Cruz province.

The lubricants plant is located within the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area, started operations in 1946 and employs approximately 60 individuals.

Pampa Energia manufactures Lubrax lubricants at the Avellaneda plant under a license fromPetrobras. Petrobras, Brazil's oil company, sold its 67.2 percent stake in Petrobras Argentina SA to Pampa Energia SA in 2016.

The Lubrax line of products includes more than 120 different formulations to supply Argentinas domestic automotive, industrial, railroad, and marine markets, and is exported into neighboring countries such as Chile and Uruguay, according to Pampa Energy's website and local media reports.

Trafigura declined to comment for this article, noting it has not yet taken full ownership of the lubricants plant in Avellaneda.

Trafigura has already made extensive investments in Argentina, including a fluvial fleet and the Campana Terminal that supplies the Argentinian, Paraguayan and Bolivian markets with petroleum products via the Parana River.

The company is also building a rapidly growing network of retail service stations across Argentina under the Puma Energy brand. Officials made it clear that the acquisition was primarily about fuels.

Trafigura believes that the Argentine market has strong growth potential and intends to position itself as a long-term fuel supplier of choice to the country, said Patricio Norris, co-head of Oil and Gas for Trafigura in America, according to the company's press release.

Trafigura is a Singaporean company founded in 1993 and one of the largest physical commodities trading groups in the world. It owns 49.6 percent of Puma Energy, a global integrated midstream and downstream oil company active in 48 countries and founded in Central America in 1997. Puma Energys core activities in the midstream sector include the supply, storage and transportation of refined petroleum products, with additional offerings in the lubricants, bitumen, LPG and marine bunkering sectors.

The company is headquartered in Singapore and has regional hubs in Johannesburg, South Africa, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Brisbane, Australia, and Tallinn, Estonia.

Pampa Energia is a fully integrated energy company and has been in business for 13 years. Its upstream operations produce 25,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 8 millioncubic meters of natural gas per day, and the company also owns petrochemical complexes in Argentina, although its main activity is the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.