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Suitors emerge for Shell refinery

The Calgary Herald

Reuters June 3, 2010: Facility had been slated for closure

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is studying two 11th-hour expressions of interest in buying its Montreal refinery, a plant it had targeted for closure, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Shell received the proposals for the 130,000-barrel-a-day plant just before its Tuesday deadline, spokesman Larry Lalonde said. He offered no details of the suitors or terms proposed.

“There were expressions of interest put forward by two parties,” Lalonde said.

“Right now we’re taking some time to review what was put in late in the day.”

The company, which has operated the refinery for 76 years, put the plant up for sale last year, saying it did not fit into its long-term strategy. It said in January it planned to close it and convert it into a fuel terminal after a seven-month search for a buyer came up dry.

Earlier, the Montreal Gazette newspaper quoted Quebec Economic Development Minister Clement Gignac as saying Shell was willing to sell the plant and the government was interesting in protecting the roughly 500 jobs.

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

On Tuesday, PBF Energy Partners LP, a $2-billion investment fund led by refining veteran Tom O’Malley, closed a $220-million acquisition of the Delaware City, Del., refi nery from Valero Energy Corp. That plant had been shut since November.

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