ExxonMobil has agreed to sell its Augusta, Italy, refinery – including its 730,000 metric tons per year API Group I base oil plant – to Algerias national oil company, Sonatrach, the companies announced yesterday. The sale is expected to close by the end of 2018, subject to conditions and legal requirements.
Sonatrach said in its news release that the acquisition will help it meet Algerias demands for gasoline and diesel fuel. The company currently operates five refineries in North Africa, according to a July 2017 business plan presentation.
ExxonMobil said it will enter into multi-year commercial and technology agreements with Sonatrach for refinery products, including Group I base stocks and waxes.
We will continue to provide a reliable supply of Group I base stocks, globally and in [Europe, Africa and Middle East], including the ExxonMobil AP/E Core slate manufactured in Augusta, Julia Ruessmann, ExxonMobils sales manager for base stocks and specialties in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said in a news release. With this agreement and a robust manufacturing network around the world producing Group I Core, we will remain the largest global marketer of high-quality Group I base stocks.
ExxonMobil said it will continue to market base stocks and waxes from Augusta at current specifications. The company said a dedicated transition team will ensure continuity of the business to prepare for a successful handover and continuation of manufacturing of ExxonMobil products.
The transaction does not affect ExxonMobils contracts and business relationships, Ruessmann said. We will continue to supply our base stocks and wax customer portfolio, with the goal of being their supplier of choice.
Sonatrachs refineries include one operated by subsidiary Naftec in Arzew, Algeria. It has a base oil plant with capacity to make 180,000 t/y of Group I.
The Augusta based oil refinery is easily the largest in Europe. ExxonMobil operates a 675,000 t/y Group I plant in Port-Jerome and Gravenchon, France, while SK Lubricants and Repsol have a 636,000 t/y Group II/III joint venture plant in Cartegena, Spain. ExxonMobil is building a Group II plant in Rotterdam that is expected to open near the end of this year with an estimated capacity of 1 million t/y.