Gunvor Group, one of the world’s major independent commodity trading companies, has announced that it has successfully bid to purchase Petroplus’s refinery in Antwerp.
The transaction is expected to be completed formally within 6 to 8 weeks, with the support from the local and Belgium state authorities. Gunvor has the intention to restart operations as soon as possible, following the refinery’s closure in early February as a result of Petroplus’s financial situation. The facility has a processing capability of more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day, and storage capacity of more than 1.2 million cubic metres.
Gunvor is committed to operating the refinery on a long term basis and all existing staff will be retained.
The purchase of the refinery is in line with Gunvor’s recent infrastructure investment programme and its stated strategy to become vertically integrated. In this context, the Antwerp refinery will become a key part of the group’s existing extensive trading activities in the ARA region.
Torbjörn Törnqvist, CEO of Gunvor Group, commented: “We are delighted to have won the bid for what will be a significant asset for the group as we look to expand our presence and trading activities in the ARA region, as well as continuing our wider strategy of diversification from pure trading operations. We know the refinery at Antwerp well and have staff who in previous roles actually worked there. Given that, and the fact that Petroplus have invested heavily in the refinery in recent years, we are confident we will be able to integrate it fully with our trading operation to ensure it becomes a profitable and sustainable part of our infrastructure portfolio.”