Bloomberg News

Gunvor to Start Antwerp Refinery After Completing Purchase

May 03, 2012

Gunvor Group Ltd. said it plans to start an oil refinery in Antwerp, Belgium, “in the next few days,” after it completed the purchase of the 107,500 barrel-a- day plant from Petroplus Holdings AG.

“Independent Belgian Refinery NV, as the new 100 percent Gunvor-owned and Belgian subsidiary is named, has obtained all the necessary permits, licenses and authorizations from the relevant Belgian authorities in order to operate the refinery,” the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

Gunvor, a commodities trader with offices in Geneva and Singapore, said it will retain the entire staff of more than 200 at the Antwerp facility and will invest in improvements in safety, operational and environmental standards. It also completed negotiations with Petroplus Marketing AG to buy remaining inventory at the refinery.

The Antwerp plant was one of five European refineries operated by Petroplus (PPHN) until the Swiss oil refiner filed for insolvency earlier this year. Varo Holding SA, a venture of Vitol Group and AtlasInvest, agreed to buy its Cressier plant in Switzerland, Petroplus said today in a statement. Petroplus’s facilities in France and Germany are still for sale.

The Swiss refiner’s Coryton plant in the U.K. is operating under a tolling agreement with Morgan Stanley, KKR & Co. and AtlasInvest, whereby the investors supply the crude, pay a fee to have it processed and take ownership of the refined products.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ann Koh in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at

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