PT Pertamina, Indonesia’s state oil company, is interested in a refinery in southern France that LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB:US) threatened to shutter permanently, according to French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg.
The minister “received today a letter of intent in which Pertamina state-owned oil and gas company confirms its interest in the Berre-l’Etang refinery,” Montebourg said in a statement, without saying whether it was considering buying the facility.
The state pressured LyondellBasell to mothball the refinery after the company said last year it planned to shut the plant permanently and cut 370 jobs because it couldn’t find a buyer. It was at the time the third closing of a crude-processing plant announced in France within 18 months as weaker demand for fuel curbed earnings. Petroplus Holdings AG’s Petit-Couronne refinery in Normandy has since been placed under administration.
A court postponed a deadline for offers for Petit-Couronne to Feb. 5, the managers of the plant said today in a statement.
Administrators have also asked the court to extend past Dec. 16 an authorization under which the plant can operate.
Petit-Couronne is processing fuel for Royal Dutch Shell Plc in a deal expiring Dec. 15. The request for an extension will be considered by the court on Dec. 4, according to the statement.
Libya’s sovereign wealth fund is in early talks with France as a possible co-investor in the site, Montebourg said yesterday on a visit to Tripoli. France’s strategic investment fund would be a minority partner in viable energy and industry projects, he said. The 154,000 barrel-a-day Petit-Couronne has been on sale since owner Petroplus went into administration this year.
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