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Shell has buyer interest for Montreal refinery


Alberta, May 31 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) has received an expression of interest in its Montreal refinery, which the company has targeted for closure and conversion into a fuel terminal, a Shell spokesman said on Monday.

An unnamed company has said it may want to buy the 130,000 barrel a day plant, although the two sides are not currently close on the proposed terms, said Larry Lalonde of Shell Canada.

Shell has set a deadline of 5 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday to strike a deal.

“We are continuing to be open to looking at credible bids that we may receive by tomorrow, June 1,” Lalonde said. He said there were no assurances that a deal would be reached.

He declined to name the potential bidder or say if it was a domestic or international player in the industry.

Shell, which has operated the refinery for 76 years, put the Montreal East plant up for sale last year, saying it did not fit into its long-term strategy. It opted in January to close the plant after a seven-month search for a buyer came up dry.

The Montreal refinery is one of a number in Northern America to be sold or closed by companies as they struggle with weak profit margins.

Earlier Monday, Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N) said it reached agreement with the government of Aruba to resolve tax issues issues surrounding their refinery on the Caribbean island, making it easier to find a buyer for the plant, which has been shuttered since July.

(Reporting by Jeff Jones; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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