Sector News

Versalis signs agreement to divest petchem assets at Sarroch to refining firm

December 30, 2014
Chemical Value Chain
Versalis, the chemicals subsidiary of ENI (Rome), says that it has signed a firm agreement for the previously announced divestment of some of the company’s petrochemical production plants at Sarroch, Italy, to Sarlux, a subsidiary of Saras (Sarroch). Sarlux operates a refinery at Sarroch. “The aim of the agreement is to reinforce the integration between the Versalis petrochemical complex and the refinery owned by Sarlux, generating synergies that will make the site more competitive in the medium-to-long term,” Versalis says. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
 
Consolidating the Versalis and Sarlux operations at Sarroch is necessary because of the “challenging market scenario for petrochemical products, the distance from the outlet markets, and the high structural costs deriving form the separation of the two companies’ industrial scopes,” Versalis adds. The Sarroch site is on the island of Sardinia.
 
Sarlux, under the terms of the deal—announced in October—will acquire from Versalis a reforming unit, a propylene splitter, and an aromatics complex, as well as related services, including the logistics system. Capacities at Versalis’s Sarroch aromatics complex include 50,000 m.t./year of benzene and 260,000 m.t./year of mixed xylenes, IHS Chemical says. The complex also makes toluene. The splitter has capacity for 83,000 m.t./year of propylene, IHS Chemical adds. The Sarlux refinery has the capacity to process 300,000 bbl/day of crude oil.
 
Versalis will close production units at Sarroch that are not included in the deal with Sarlux. Versalis CEO Daniele Ferrari told CW in November that the plants to be closed include a xylenes complex and an ethylbenzene unit. The xylenes complex has the capacity to produce 50,000 m.t./year of meta-xylene; 50,000 m.t./year of ortho-xylene; and 50,00 m.t./year of para-xylene, IHS Chemical says.
 
Divesting and closing the assets at Sarroch forms part of a major transformation program at Versalis that also covers the company’s manufacturing sites at Brindisi, Gela, Porto Marghera, Porto Torres, and Priolo, Italy. 
 
By Ian Young
 

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