KNOC sells aging Newfoundland refinery to SilverRange

Fri Sep 5, 2014 11:55am EDT
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CALGARY, Alberta, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Korea National Oil Corp said on Friday that it would sell its 115,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Come by Chance, Newfoundland, to SilverRange Financial Partners LLC for an undisclosed price following a months-long search to find a buyer.

KNOC's Harvest Operations Corp unit is selling the aging refinery, as well as 53 gas stations and convenience stores, to SilverRange. The New York-based merchant bank has entered into a multiyear refining deal with an unspecified global oil company, Harvest Operations and SilverRange said in a release.

"(The refinery) is strategically located along Atlantic crude oil shipping routes and provides access to petroleum markets in Europe and the U.S. Eastern seaboard," SilverRange official Harsh Rameshwar said in the release. "Its clean fuel technology enables the refinery to produce low-sulfur, clean fuels, providing flexibility to refine crudes from many parts of the world."

KNOC said last year it would sell the money-losing refinery as it moved to boost profits from its international oil and gas investments.

Built in the early 1970s, the facility has had a troubled history. Since its initial owners went bankrupt, the refinery changed hands many times before its sale to Harvest Energy in 2006. In December 2009, KNOC bought Harvest's operations.

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has agreed to free SilverRange from liability for pre-existing environmental contamination at the site while the new owner has committed to cut the refinery's sulfur-dioxide emissions. (Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)