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Essar buys into Kenya Petro

business Updated: Jan 16, 2008 00:26 IST
Deepak Joshi
Deepak Joshi
Hindustan Times
Essar buys into Kenya Petro

Essar Energy Overseas Ltd, a subsidiary of Essar Oil Limited, has entered into an agreement to acquire 50 per cent of Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd (KPRL), a 4 million metric tonne (MMTPA) per annum refinery in Mombasa, Kenya. The Government of Kenya holds the remaining 50 per cent of KPRL.

Essar will acquire the stake from the existing shareholders – The Shell Petroleum Company Limited, Chevron Global Energy Inc and BP Africa Limited. Subject to certain conditions, the acquisition is expected to complete in early 2008.

The Mombasa refinery is the only refinery in Eastern Africa. It currently produces LPG, gasoline, diesel, kerosene and fuel oil. The refinery is planned to be upgraded by adding secondary units at a project cost of S 400- 450 million.

Essar Energy Holdings Ltd chief executive Naresh Nayyar said “We are very pleased that our first refinery acquisition outside of India will be made in Kenya. We look forward to working with the Government of Kenya to develop KPRL further to supply the growing Kenyan and adjacent markets and finalise the upgrade project.”

KPRL’s products are sold into the Kenyan market and exported to neighbouring countries including Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda. Demand for petroleum products in these markets is estimated at 5 million tonnes per annum.

This is the first international acquisition by Essar in the refining sector and fits Essar’s strategy of achieving refining capacity of one million barrels per day.

In addition, Essar already has three exploration and production blocks in Madagascar and one in Nigeria.

Essar Oil Limited is a fully integrated oil company with a 10.5 million metric tonnes per annum refinery which is being scaled up to 34 MMTPA at a project cost of $ 6 billion, developmental rights in proven exploration blocks in India and abroad and a downstream retail network of over 1,248 fuel stations across India with the supporting infrastructure.