The European Commission has approved the purchase of certain refinery assets near Hamburg, Germany, by Nynas AB of Sweden from Shell Deutschland Oil.
The Hamburg refinery assets involved are the base oil manufacturing plant and certain parts of the refinery that are necessary to produce distillates from crude oil. Shell will retain the rest of the facility.
Without the transaction, the commission said closure of the refinery would be the most likely scenario, “dramatically reducing production capacity in Europe for a number of specific oil products.”
In an in-depth investigation, the EC said, “Shell demonstrated that it would not continue to operate the Harburg refinery, as in its current set-up it is economically unsustainable.” There were no alternative buyers, the commission said.
Nynas said first-phase takeover is targeted for Jan. 1 and will include about 90 Shell employees. It expects production of specialty oils to be up to 350,000 tons/year, a 40% increase in the company’s supply capability.
A hydrogren production plant will be built and operated by a third-party supplier.
Nynas is jointly controlled by Petroleos de Venezuela SA and Neste Oil Oyj of Finland. The company said it signed the deal with Shell in 2011. Nynas will not take over any customers, sales, or marketing assets from Shell.