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Shell’s Stanlow refinery could be sold as a going concern

Shell UK’s Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port could be sold as a going concern as part of a site review

Aug 12 2009 by Chris Smith, Ellesmere Port Pioneer

SHELL’S massive oil refinery in Ellesmere Port could be sold off.

The option of selling the Stanlow complex in Oil Sites Road as a going concern forms part of a review of the oil giant’s sites in the UK and around the world.

But Shell, which admits it faces a ‘challenging time’ during the recession, says there are no plans to close the plant which employs 900 permanent staff.

The oil giant won’t comment on national newspaper claims that Stanlow could be sold, with two of Shell’s German refineries, for £1.5 billion at auction, or that potential bidders include a consortium led by Libya’s National Oil Corporation and Indian mobile phone company Essar.

A Shell UK spokeswoman said: “We can confirm a review is underway to determine the best long-term ownership options for the Stanlow Refinery and associated local marketing businesses. Employees have been advised.

“Shell has an obligation to ensure best value is being achieved with all its assets and this involves talking with third parties from time to time.

“This is part of normal Shell portfolio activities and is consistent with the strategy to concentrate our refining footprint.

“All long-term ownership options are being considered for Stanlow, which could include the sale of the refinery.

“If a deal is pursued, the refinery would be sold as a going concern. If no deal is pursued, Stanlow will be retained in the Shell portfolio. There are no plans to close the refinery or associated local marketing businesses.”

Stressing it was still “business as usual,” she said the review includes Oil Products and Chemicals Manufacturing and distribution terminal, the Commercial Fuels Bulk Fuels and local Marine businesses, but not any of the UK Retail sites, the SHOP and Alcohols units, the Lubricant Oil Blending Plant, Aviation, non-local Marine business and Commercial Road Transport marketing businesses or Shell Technology Centre Thornton.

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser said: “Our second quarter results were affected by the weak global economy. This weakness is creating a difficult environment.

“Conditions are likely to remain challenging for some time, and we are not banking on a quick recovery.

“Shell is adapting to this new situation, and we must do more. We are sharpening our focus on delivery and affordability.”

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