MARSEILLE, France, April 16 Refiner
LyondellBasell said it had pulled out of talks to sell
its Berre refinery in southeastern France to Monaco-based
Sotragem, adding that the bid offered no guarantee that the
mothballed site would restart.
Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg announced last month that
privately owned Sotragem had made an offer to buy the refinery
near Marseille, a deal that would have run counter to the trend
that European refineries are closing due to overcapacity.
U.S.-listed LyondellBasell said in a statement on Wednesday
that Sotragem's bid did not offer acceptable commercial terms
and showed no guarantee of a restart of the refinery.
"LyondellBasell therefore decided to put an end to
negotiations with Sotragem SAM," it said.
In January 2012, LyondellBasell had mothballed the 105,000
barrel-a-day refinery after having failed to find a buyer since
putting it up for sale in May 2011.
Montebourg also sought in vain to save another refinery, the
Petit-Couronne plant in northern France, which was closed last
Late on Tuesday, Montebourg said two companies, Bollore
and Brownfields, had made offers to re-industrialise
the Petit-Couronne plant, with plans to convert it into a
strategic oil storage site.
A spokeswoman at Montebourg's office did not immediately
return a request for comment.
(Reporting by Jean-Francois Rosnoblet and Michel Rose in Paris;
editing by Jane Baird)