LyondellBasell Berre complex to have world-scale PP & PE units

April 01, 2008 - France

LyondellBasell Industries announced that it has completed the purchase of the Shell oil refinery and associated infrastructure and businesses at the Berre l'Etang petrochemical complex in France.

The refinery, with production capacity of 105,000 barrels per day, is adjacent to a LyondellBasell polyolefins complex at Berre that includes a steam cracker, butadiene extraction unit and world-scale polypropylene and polyethylene plants. LyondellBasell also has a polyethylene plant and a site that produces propylene oxide, MTBE and ETBE nearby at Fos-sur-Mer.

"The acquisition of the Berre refinery enhances raw material integration for our operations in France and supports our polyolefins business in Europe," said Volker Trautz, CEO of LyondellBasell. "Furthermore, this transaction puts us in a better position to build upon our fuels and chemicals businesses in Europe."

LyondellBasell has been the largest customer of the Berre refinery, purchasing naphtha, vacuum gas oil (VGO) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as raw material for its steam cracker. Other refined products include gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, bitumen and heating oil.

Approximately 1,500 employees will join LyondellBasell through this transaction, including about 500 Shell employees who already operate LyondellBasell's assets at the Berre complex.

In addition to its industry leadership in polyolefins, LyondellBasell is the largest producer of biofuels in the European merchant market with approximately 1.2 million metric tonnes per year of capacity at its plants in Fos-sur-Mer, France and Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The LyondellBasell plant at Fos-sur-Mer has the flexibility to produce both MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) and bio-ETBE (ethyl tertiary butyl ether) in support of the European biofuels directive. LyondellBasell also operates 268,000 barrels per day full-conversion refinery in the United States at Houston, Texas.