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Reuters: Shell mulls investment in Dutch refinery

Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:41pm BST

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is planning to invest 1 billion euros (696 million pounds) in its Dutch Pernis refinery, Europe’s biggest, over the next five to seven years, a spokesman for the oil major said on Tuesday.

“There are plans for a 1 billion (euro) investment for the next five to seven years but it’s not all firm yet,” the spokesman said, adding that the planned investments were partly aimed at improving the refinery’s reliability.

He said there was also some discussions under way about a new desulphurisation unit at Pernis, which has a processing capacity of 412,000 barrels a day.

The European Union has brought in tougher environmental rules to cut the levels of sulphur in heating oil and diesel.

Shell has been revamping its refining portfolio worldwide, moving aggressively to sell higher cost plants.

This year alone the company has sold three French refineries and another in Los Angeles.

Last month, Shell and Saudi Arabia’s state oil company announced they would go ahead with a $7 billion expansion of their jointly owned refinery at Port Arthur in Texas that would make the plant one of the biggest in the world.

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