Rhône Energies, a consortium comprising Entara LLC and Trafigura Pte Ltd, has initiated exclusive negotiations to acquire the Fos-sur-Mer refinery and the Toulouse and Villette de Vienne terminals from Esso. The proposed acquisition is subject to a formal information and consultation procedure with employee representative bodies and regulatory approvals, with an expected completion by the end of 2024. The financial terms remain confidential.

Rhône Energies was established by Entara and Trafigura to leverage the expertise of a seasoned refinery operator and a global leader in energy and commodities. Entara, founded by former Crossbridge Energy executives with experience in refinery asset management, will oversee the Fos-sur-Mer asset’s operations, maintenance, commercial activities, and environmental performance.

Trafigura, operating in over 150 countries and trading over 5.5 million barrels of oil and petroleum products daily, brings extensive experience in direct investment, capacity utilisation, and supply and offtake arrangements with refineries.

“We are eager to acquire and oversee Esso’s Fos-sur-Mer refinery operations, and we anticipate engaging with operational management, employee representatives, and government stakeholders to affirm our commitment to the operation and outline our future plans,” stated Nicholas Myerson, CEO of Entara. “Our priority is to uphold the operation’s high standards of environmental responsibility, safety, and operational excellence.”

“The Fos-sur-Mer refinery is a strategically located, efficient, and well-managed operation on France’s Mediterranean coast,” noted Ben Luckock, global head of oil for Trafigura. “It will remain a vital contributor to energy security in the region and can benefit from Trafigura’s global trading and logistics network.”

Rhône Energies aims to retain the current workforce, consisting of approximately 310 employees who will transfer to Rhône Energies upon completion of the transaction, offering competitive compensation, benefits, and learning opportunities.

Under the proposed acquisition terms, Trafigura would enter into a minimum 10-year exclusive crude oil supply and product offtake agreement, ensuring a secure feedstock supply and reliable off-take of refined products. Rhône Energies commits to continue supplying Esso SAF in the region.

Rhône Energies plans to leverage the refinery’s skilled teams and manufacturing performance, aiming to enhance margin capture, crude flexibility, and process utilisation while investing in personnel and process safety. Sustainability initiatives include reducing carbon intensity and expanding renewable fuel production through co-processing of biogenic feedstocks.

With a crude oil processing capacity of 140 thousand barrels per day, Fos-sur-Mer benefits from a major port access, competitive costs, and versatility in processing various crude oil feedstocks.

For more information visit www.trafigura.com

11th April 2024