Petit Couronne Shutdown Begins


Petroplus Holdings AG is closing its Petit Couronne, France, refinery this month, including its 7,300 barrels per day base oil plant, to cut costs.

Petit Couronne is in the process of being safely shut down, Petroplus announced Jan. 5. Labor actions at the site are currently restricting liftings of products. The refinery has 550 employees.

The Petit Couronne base oil plant has 6,300 b/d of API Group I capacity and 1,000 b/d of Group III capacity.

The company previously announced Dec. 30 the temporary economic shutdowns of its refineries in Petit Couronne, along with Antwerp, Belgium, and Cressier, Switzerland, citing limited credit availability and Europes economic climate. The restart of the refineries is dependent on economic conditions and credit availability, according to Petroplus.

The company is negotiating with its lenders under the Revolving Credit Facility to secure funding and liquidity arrangements to meet Petroplus current and future financial obligations. According to Petroplus, all its credit lines under the facility have been suspended, and access to its pledged bank accounts with its lenders have been restricted, pending outcome of the negotiations. Revolving credit does not have a fixed number of payments, and corporate revolving credit facilities are generally used to provide liquidity for a firms day-to-day operations

In October, Petroplus outlined plans to reconfigure the Petit Couronne refinery to cut costs, including shutdown of its base oil plant. For more details, read the Nov. 9, 2011 Lube Report article.

Petroplus Holdings AG claims to be the largest independent refiner and wholesaler of petroleum products in Europe. In addition to the three refineries being shut down, the company owns and operates refineries in Coryton, United Kingdom, and Ingolstadt, Germany.

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