Indian company Essar Energy Plc. has acquired Royal Dutch Shell’s 296 000 bpd Stanlow refinery for approximately US$ 1.3 billion.
New owner Prashant Ruia has told the plant's 900 staff in a series of meetings that they had nothing to fear from the takeover. Ruia highlighted the fact that this refinery represents one of only three refining assets for Essar, and thus reassured staff with promises of significant investment, attention and the possibility of more jobs.
When the facility was put on the market, there were initial fears regarding the future of a plant, which many believe had seen underinvestment for a number of years. Mr Ruia concurred with this assessment, stating that the plant was only running at 75% capacity, a figure he wanted to increase.
Essar’s other two assets are a 280 000 bpd refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat, India, and a 90 000 bpd unit in Kenya. The Stanlow plant near Ellesmere Port is the UK’s second largest and accounts for approximately 15% of total production from UK oil refineries.
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