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Raizen, Ultrapar among likely bidders for Petrobras refinery

August 28/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazilís Petroleo Brasileiro SA is set to receive binding offers for its Presidente Getulio Vargas refinery, with local firms Raizen and Ultrapar Participacoes SA among the likely bidders, reported Reuters with reference to sources familiar with the matter.

The sale is part of a multi-billion plan by the state-controlled oil company, known as Petrobras, to divest assets, with interest from ethanol and fuel distribution company Raizen and conglomerate Ultrapar powered by deep-pocketed foreign investment firms.

Based in the southern Brazilian state of Parana, Repar is Brazilís fifth-largest refinery, able to process 208,000 barrels per day, representing 9% of the countryís capacity. It supplies the states of Parana, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso, making it a good fit for both Ultra and Raizen, which have fuel distribution businesses in these areas.

Raizen, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and Brazilian ethanol producer Cosan SA (CSAN3.SA), is teaming up with US-based private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) to bid for various Petrobras refineries, Reuters reported in January. GIP has more than USD50 billion in assets under management.

Raizen declined to comment. Petrobras didnít immediately reply to a request for comment.

Ultrapar could look to buy the refinery on its own or in a joint bid with Patria Investimentos Ltda, an investment fund backed by Blackstone Group Inc, which reached a 5% stake in the company in June, according to one source familiar with Ultraparís deliberations.

Ultrapar didnít immediately reply to a request for comment. Patria declined to comment.

Another source said Petrobras was expecting additional offers for Repar, without naming potential bidders.

Indian conglomerate Essar Group had considered a bid in recent months, but it was not clear if the company would follow through, another source said. Essar didnít immediately reply to a request for comment sent outside regular market hours in India.

The Parana unit is the second of a group of refineries that Petrobras is putting on the block as part of government efforts to bring more competition to the sector. Petrobras is in talks with Abu Dhabi investment firm Mubadala about finalizing an offer for the first refinery put up for sale, Rlam, in the northeastern state of Bahia.

Repar produces mostly gasoline and diesel, up to 70%, combined, as well as asphalt base, aviation fuel and butane gas. The unit is being sold with five storage terminals, one in Parana state and four in Santa Catarina, and 476 kilometers (295 miles) of oil pipelines.

As MRC reported previously, Petrobras may need more than a year to divest its stake in Braskem, said Andrea Almeida, Petrobras CFO, in early July. She said during the companyÔŅĹs recent webinar that Petrobras plans to give more time for potential investors to make offers for the company"s assets, including for its refineries and stakes at its petrochemical and fuel distribution affiliates. The divestment of Petrobras"s stake in Braskem in 2020 would be desirable but "might not be possible" as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed market conditions, she said. The company plans to close part of its refinery sales in 2021. In December, Roberto Castello Branco, CEO of Petrobras, said that he wants to sell the companyÔŅĹs stake in Braskem within a year. Petrobras owns 32.15% of Braskem.

We remind that Braskem is no longer pursuing a petrochemical project, which would have included an ethane cracker, in West Virginia. And the company is seeking to sell the land that would have housed the cracker. The project, announced in 2013, had been on Braskem"s back burner for several years.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC"s DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras" activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, homopolymer PP, propylene, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Braskem, Petrobras, Shell, Brazil, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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