March 10 Essar Energy Plc has no plans
to close its Stanlow oil refinery in Britain, the company said
on Monday, in response to a newspaper report that the troubled
plant is under threat from "uneconomic conditions".
Shares of the company fell as much as 4.5 percent on Monday.
City A.M., a free newspaper distributed in London's
financial district, reported that the future of Britain's
second-largest oil refinery was under threat from an influx of
refined products from the United States.
Essar Energy's largest shareholder, Essar Global Fund, wants
the UK government to lobby Washington to overturn a ban on U.S.
crude oil and natural gas exports, the newspaper reported,
without citing any sources.
Essar Energy said in a statement that it had embarked on a
$100 million cost improvement programme at Stanlow to ensure the
plant could withstand a period of "exceptionally poor" refining
"With reference to recent press reports, Essar Energy Plc
denies that it has any plans to close its Stanlow refinery," the
company said in a statement.
A company spokesman said the statement was a response to the
City A.M. report.
"Essar Energy and the entire transport fuel supply industry
are working together with the UK Government to improve the
resilience of UK refineries and importers," the company said.
London-listed Essar Energy is the target of a takeover
proposal from its founders, India's billionaire Ruia brothers.
The company said in February it would shutter one-third of
Stanlow's production capacity as weak demand, overcapacity and
huge flows of diesel from overseas competitors hammer refining
Essar Energy's shares were down 2.1 percent at 70.75 pence
at 1130 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.