Essar acquires 50% stake in Kenya Petroleum

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New Delhi, Jan 15 (UNI) Essar Energy Overseas Ltd, a subsidiary of Essar Oil Ltd, today said it will acquire 50 per cent stake in Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd (KRPL) for an unspecified amount.

KPRL is a four million metric tonne (MMTPA) per annum refinery in Mombasa, Kenya and the Government of Kenya holds the remaining 50 per cent in KPRL, said a statement.

Essar said it will acquire the stake from the existing shareholders - Shell Petroleum Company Ltd, Chevron Global Energy Inc and BP Africa Ltd.

''Subject to certain conditions, the acquisition is expected to complete early this year,''the statement added.

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 400- 450 million dollars.

Essar Energy Holdings Ltd Chief Executive Naresh Nayyar said ''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 five 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.

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