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September 9, 2021updated 26 Oct 2021 11:55am

LyondellBasell reviews strategic options for Houston refinery in US

The refinery had suffered heavy losses in 2020 due to massive drop in fuel demand following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

By Archana Rani

LyondellBasell is considering strategic options, including a potential sale, for its crude oil refinery located in Houston, Texas, US.

One of the largest of its kind equipped to process heavy, high-sulfur crude oil, the LyondellBasell’s Houston refinery has a crude oil processing capacity of 268,000 barrels per day.

Located on the US Gulf Coast, the refinery has access to interstate pipelines and the Port of Houston.

LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel said: “While the Houston Refinery is a valuable, well-performing asset, we have long held the belief that it may be even more valuable as part of a larger refining system.

“To that end, we are actively gauging market interest in this business with the goal of delivering the greatest value to all our stakeholders.”

The latest move marks the company’s second attempt to sell the refinery, which suffered heavy losses in 2020 as fuel demand plummeted globally following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, reported Reuters.

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Lyondell attempted to sell the refinery in 2016, but the plan was hampered due to repeated fires and blackouts at the facility that resulted in production being reduced to a third compared to earlier that year.

Following its recovery in the same year, the refinery had attracted bids worth more than $1bn from Saudi Aramco and Suncor.

Although bidding for the refinery was denied by Saudi Aramco, Reuters previously cited sources as saying that an agreement collapsed when the chemical firm sought to increase prices prior to receiving formal bids.

LyondellBasell said it cannot provide assurances regarding the review process outcome or its timing.

Bank of America is serving as a financial advisor while Vinson & Elkins is acting as legal counsel to the firm’s review process.

The Houston Refinery produces transportation fuels such as reformulated gasoline, ultra-low sulfur diesel and jet fuel, as well as other products, including lubricants, chemical intermediates and petroleum coke.

Located on the Houston Ship Channel, the facility covers an area of approximately 700 acres. The refinery has been under Company ownership since 2006.

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