Manguinhos refinery signs deal with Astra Oil Trading

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12 -- Brazil’s privately held refinery Refinaria de Petroleos de Manguinhos SA signed a memorandum of understanding with Astra Oil Trading NV “to discuss and plan the best use of assets.”

Manguinhos said the agreement concerns use of its facilities for treatment of oil to be produced by third parties from Brazil’s presalt region. The agreement also covers joint production and storage of ethanol.

Manguinhos’ facilities include 210,000 cu m of storage tanks linked by pipeline to Rio de Janeiro port to facilitate exports and imports.

The refinery also will study creation of new companies to operate the facilities at its site in Rio de Janeiro state, southeast Brazil, according to the firm’s investor relations director Paulo Henrique Oliveira de Menezes.

The MOU marks the second time in 6 months the Manguinhos refinery agreed to explore the potential of its facilities with another partner.

Last June, state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) said it signed a similar letter of intent with the refinery for joint studies of business opportunities. Petrobras said the aim was to identify business opportunities, including partnerships in the refining area.

Petrobras said the agreement covered “modernization of the Manguinhos refinery to produce gasoline, diesel, and other products; transportation and logistics services; and biodiesel production.”

Petrobras said the term of the protocol was for 1 year with possibility of renewal, and was limited to “the analysis of opportunities, not creating any additional obligation for the parties nor financial obligations for Petrobras.”

It is not clear if Manguinhos’s new agreement with Astra Oil Trading is in addition to or supercedes the earlier one with Petrobras.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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