Valero in final negotiations to sell Delaware City refinery
Thursday, March 18th, 2010
The question of who would fill the void left at the shuttered Valero refinery in Delaware City should be answered in a matter of weeks.
Today a Valero spokesman says the company is “a couple of weeks away” from announcing the sale of the Delaware City refinery site and equipment to PBF Investment, a financial vehicle for Petroplus.
“It’s too early in the process to talk about a dollar amount or when we might have an announcement other then generally saying we hope to have this deal completed in the next couple of weeks,” Bill Day, Valero spokesman, said.
The priority of filling the jobs void left behind when Valero shut down the Delaware City site was mentioned by New Castle County Executive Chris Coons during his budget address this week.
“I am continuing to work closely with Governor Jack Markell to make job creation a priority for our county and state,” Coons said. Together we are in the final stages of negotiating a buyer for the idled Valero refinery.”
Day says Valero has been working closely with Governor Jack Markell’s office during the negotiations with PBF.
The Delaware City refinery suffered from high costs and low margins, and Day says it was losing $1 million daily before it announced it would shut down last November, leaving around 550 workers jobless.
If the deal goes through, the Delaware City refinery would in effect go back into the hands of former Premcor chairman Tom O’Malley. Premcor sold the refinery to Valero in 2005. Today O’Malley is a chairman at Petroplus.
“He would be regaining a refinery he sold in 2005,” Day said. “He is definitely familiar with that site and that area.”
For now, the face-to-face negotiations as well as phone calls and emails will continue as the final detials of the deal are hammered out.
“I know everyone indelaware is anxious to see this issue resolved but it’s a very complicated process and it does take time,” Day said.