Varo Energy plans upgrades for Swiss refinery

Varo Energy BV, a midstream company owned by The Carlyle Group and Vitol Group, plans to invest more than 50 million Swiss francs ($56 million) this year into maintenance and modernization projects at its 68,000 b/d Cressier refinery near Neuchatel, Switzerland.

In addition to costs associated with the refinery’s scheduled turnaround, the investment also will cover other projects, including a partial conversion of the refinery’s energy sourcing to natural gas as well as technical upgrades that will equip the plant to produce gasoline containing up to 5% ethanol from renewable sources, Varo Energy said in a Jan. 21 statement.

Centered on safety, asset integrity, and growth, the investment is designed to enhance the refinery’s long-term competitiveness, according to Roger Brown, Varo Energy’s new chief executive officer.

“[W]hile refining in Europe remains immensely challenging for everyone, I believe we have the right people and assets to enable us to achieve our objective,” Brown said.

Varo Energy restarted the Cressier refinery in 2013 after purchasing the decommissioned plant from Petroplus Holdings in mid-2012 (OGJ Online, Dec. 19, 2013).

The company also owns a 45% share in the 215,000-b/d Bayernoil refining complex near Ingolstadt, Germany (OGJ Online, July 1, 2014).

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