Libya denies any plans to take over French oil refinery

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) on Monday flatly denied it is planning to take over Petroplus Petit Couronne, a French oil refinery which is currently in bankruptcy proceedings.
“The LIA has denied the news circulated by some media and on the internet about its intention to buy an old refinery in France,” reported the Libyan media quoting a LIA statement.
The news is not true, said the sovereign fund adding that it has not even started a feasibility study nor considered the profitability of an investment in the refinery. LIA insisted it would only invest in profitable projects that serve the interests of the country.
The French industry Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, announced early November that the LIA informed him it was interested in examining the possibility of investing in the refinery.
The news about the would-be investment in a bankrupt refinery was sharply criticized by Libyan media and created a buzz on Facebook.
The refinery, which employs 470 employees, had filed for bankruptcy on January 24 following the bankruptcy of its parent company in Switzerland.
Dubai-based NetOil and Hong Kong-based Alafandi Petroleum Group proposed to take over the refinery but the two bids were rejected.
The liquidation date initially set for November 5 has been postponed to February 5.
The refinery, located near Rouen, north-western France, was created by Shell in 1929. It was purchased by Petroplus in 2008.
The LIA is a Libyan government organization established in 2006 to manage the value of Libya’s oil revenues and to diversify the dependence of national income. It is a holding company that manages investment funds of the government coming from the oil and gas industry in various areas of the international finance market.

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