Petit Couronne, Sans Base Oil


Although Shell France is financing 10 million (U.S. $13.4 million) of the cost to restart Petroplus Holdings AGs Petit Couronne refinery, there are no plans to restart its 7,300 barrels per day base oil plant.

Shell sold the refinery to Petroplus in early 2008.

Petropluss subsidiaries in France, including refinery owner Petroplus Raffinage Petit-Couronne SAS, filed in January for court-based, collective insolvency. FHB Administrateurs Judiciaries was appointed as administrator for the assets in France. French president Nicolas Sarkozy visited the refinery on Friday and announced the temporary deal with Shell to restart the refinery.

In a statement, Shell France said it signed a temporary processing deal with the Petroplus Petit Couronne site for a period of six months from the restart of the refinery. Shell France will provide 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Petroplus under the processing deal.

The administrator has not proposed to restart the [base oil] plant as part of the processing deal, and there are no plans from Shell to ask the administrator to do so, Shell International spokesman Steve Harris told Lube Report.

The agreement is subject to various conditions and review.

Patrick Romo, country chair for Shell France, said, We welcome this signing as a first step to get the refinery back up and running. It will allow us to continue to supply our customers and will also support the ongoing efforts to find a buyer for the site since a shut down site is more difficult to sell.

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

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