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Sichem Hiroshima Tanker Leaves U.K. Coryton Plant for Amsterdam

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- An oil-products tanker left Petroplus Holdings AG’s Coryton refinery in the U.K., loaded with cargo and bound for Amsterdam, as administrators for the insolvent Swiss company continued talks to keep the plant open.

The Sichem Hiroshima, which can carry about 13,000 metric tons, has a draft of 8.5 meters (27.9 feet), compared with 6.2 meters before arriving at the site, according to AISLive ship-tracking data on Bloomberg. Draft refers to a vessel’s sailing depth and is an indication of cargo size.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the U.K. administrator for Zug-based Petroplus, is in talks to secure crude for the Coryton refinery while seeking buyers for the plant, an official at PwC said today, declining to be identified in line with company policy. The site, 30 miles east of London, has enough crude to last a “number” of days, Richard Howitt, a European Parliament member for the east of England, said last week.

Howitt is meeting with European Union officials including Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger in Brussels later today to discuss Coryton’s future, he said.

The Lian Xing Hu crude tanker, which has shipped average cargoes of about 58,000 tons in the past six months, is anchored off England’s east coast with a draft of 12.8 meters, according to AISLive data. The vessel is showing Coryton as its destination, and has been since at least Jan. 17.

The refinery has the capacity to process 172,000 barrels of crude a day and 70,000 barrels of other feedstock, according to the U.K. Petroleum Industry Association. The plant has been running at 100,000 barrels a day after lenders froze about $1 billion in credit to Petroplus at the end of last year.

Coryton is “still refining at the moment,” Linda McCulloch, an official at Unite, the U.K.’s largest labor union, said today by phone.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at nbakhsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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