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Chinese And Emirati Firms To Bid On Brazilian Refineries

China’s oil giant Sinopec, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company and two Brazilian firms including a joint venture of Shell, have been picked to submit binding bids for four refineries that Brazil’s state-oil firm Petrobras is selling, Reuters reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the sale process.

In late April, Petrobras approved the sale of eight refineries as part of its divestment plan.

The eight refineries have a combined capacity of 1.1 million bpd, and all eight sales could generate as much as US$18 billion, according to bankers involved in the privatization.

Petrobras launched the binding phase of the sale of four refineries out of eight that it has earmarked for divestment.

The four refineries in the this first binding phase are RNEST in Pernambuco state with a processing capacity of 130,000 bpd; RLAM in the state of Bahia with capacity of 333,000 bpd; REPAR in the Paraná state with capacity of 208,000 bpd; and REFAP in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, also with 208,000-bpd capacity.

Brazilian companies Ultrapar and Raízen—Shell’s joint venture—are likely to bid for REFAP, REPAR, and RNEST, while Sinopec and Mubadala could bid for RLAM, Reuters’ sources said.

Brazil’s competition regulator CADE has made Petrobras change its divestment process so that one company could not buy the two largest refineries in a single region of the country.

In August, reports emerged that the world’s top commodity traders along with several oil majors are among the bidders for the eight refineries that the Brazilian government wants to privatize.   

Glencore, Trafigura, and Vitol are all among the bidders, and so are Chinese CNPC and Sinopec, as well as Saudi Aramco, which has been working on building its downstream footprint internationally, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters’ sources, Aramco has dropped out of the bidding, while Glencore and Vitol are in talks to form consortia with the four companies approved to go through the binding phase of the sale of the four refineries.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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