A Moroccan court has given the trustee who controls Samir, the country’s only oil refinery, another three months to finish the liquidation process and will invite expressions of interest in buying the plant, Reuters reported.
The 200,000b/d refinery was shut down in August 2015 due to “financial constraints” but a court has since put the facility in liquidation. The facility had been scheduled for a three-month production restart beginning in June in order to secure a higher price for the site, though the plan fell through, informed Morocco World News.
A ruling had given the new managing team until December 21 to restart the refinery in an effort to secure a buyer and a better price. Attempts so far to restart production before seeking a buyer have been frustrated by difficulties in finding a supply of crude oil. However, restarting production remains a prerequisite for investors, who will be invited to submit expressions of interest in Samir, according to the court-appointed trustee, Mohamed El-Krimi
At just under 300,000b/d, Morocco’s national petroleum consumption is Africa’s fifth largest, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The closure of the plant has made Morocco reliant on oil product imports at a time when the North African kingdom is seeking to get its finances back on track by tackling huge budget deficits.