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Stanlow refinery owner says outlook positive for 2012

29 February 2012

India-based Essar Energy has posted a full year loss for the year to December 31, but said the outlook for its operations had significantly improved. The company, which acquired the Stanlow oil refinery from Shell last year, made a pre-tax loss of £587m after Indian authorities reversed a decision over sales tax deferment.

Essar Energy acquired the Stanlow oil refinery from Shell last year
Essar Energy acquired the Stanlow oil refinery from Shell last year

Revenues were up 60% to £10.6bn, mainly due to 21% higher refining and marketing revenues in India from higher selling prices and the Stanlow refinery acquisition.

The company said production at Stanlow facility is in line with expectations and it is benefiting from actions to improve margins and the removal of uneconomic capacity in the European refining sector. 

The refinery is also seeking to diversify its customers and markets and to produce alternative products such as petrochemicals, and will enhance production of Diesel and gasoil because of continuining high demand in the UK and Europe. 

A natural gas pipeline is being built into Stanlow to fuel the six boilers on site, which are currently run on fuel oil. This initiative is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, and to improve profitability and environmental benefits, the company said. 

These, and other initiatives, will deliver at least a $1 per barrel benefit by the end of 2012 and an additional $1 by the end of 2013, making the company’s UK business net cash positive when at the bottom of the market cycle, and provide attractive returns through the market cycle.

Stanlow, which is the second largest refinery in the UK, is currently processing around 220,000 barrels per day, approximately 70% of its 296,000bpd capacity.

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