Monday, August 22, 2016

Gunvor Rotterdam Refinery Upgrade Deal Concluded

Gunvor Group

The Dutch subsidiary of Swiss trader Gunvor has successfully concluded a $200 million project finance deal to upgrade its Rotterdam refinery, but the company has declined to outline the specific nature of the improvements.

Gunvor Petroleum Rotterdam BV said in a statement that the funds would go to "the development and infrastructural upgrade of facilities" and would help to integrate the 88,000-b/d refinery with Gunvor's other refineries in Antwerp and Ingolstadt.

Asked about the structuring of the deal and whether the substantial investment would boost the refinery's output, a spokesman for Gunvor would only say: "the investments will go toward enhancing the refinery's reliability and
profitability, as well as compliance with the latest safety and environmental standards."

Gunvor took ownership of the refinery located in the Port of Rotterdam at the beginning of February after buying it from Kuwait Petroleum International, consequently boosting its installed capacity to almost 300,000-b/d.

Investing at least $200 million in work at the Rotterdam refinery would suggest a significant upgrade to its capabilities. Swedish refiner Preem's recently announced $200 million investment in its 210,000-b/d Lysekil refinery will pay for a new vacuum distillation unit.

Gunvor joins majors Shell and ExxonMobil in upgrading their respective Rotterdam refineries.

Shell will build a solvent deasphalter unit at its 420,000-b/d Pernis plant by the end of 2018, which will simultaneously increase diesel output and reduce fuel oil production.

ExxonMobil plans to build a new hydrocracker unit at its 180,000-b/d Rotterdam refinery and is also targeting a 2018 completion date.

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