London-listed Essar Energy on Tuesday signed an agreement to acquire Royal Dutch Shell's Stanlow refinery in north-west England for $350 million.
"The acquisition of the Stanlow Refinery, the second largest refinery in the UK, will give Essar Energy direct access to the UK market," the company said in a statement.
Essar entered into an asset purchase agreement with Shell UK Ltd through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, to acquire the oil refinery and other associated assets at Stanlow in Cheshire.
"It (the refinery) is also aligned with Essar Energy's strategy to provide options for the export of products from its high value refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat," the statement said.
Essar owns a refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat, which can process 280,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Company chief executive Naresh Nayyar said: "Stanlow is a high quality refinery and is an excellent fit with our strategy. We look forward to taking ownership of Stanlow in due course and making operational improvements, which will enhance production and better optimise the facility."
The acquisition is subject to ratification by Essar Energy's shareholders at a general meeting, notice of which will be included in a circular to be sent out in due course.
"It is expected that the acquisition will be completed during the second half of 2011," the statement said
Essar had announced the acquisition on February 18. It also owns a unit in Kenya, and is expanding Vadinar.
With the addition of Stanlow under its label, Essar Energy will now have a little less than 1% of global oil refining capacity of 88 million barrels per day.