Out of Melaka

February 27, 2001, 00:00 CET

Statoil has signed a memorandum of understanding for the sale of the group's 15 per cent stake in Malaysian Refining Company (MRC) to the two other shareholders, Petronas and Conoco Asia.

Statoil's share represents a processing capacity of almost 20,000 barrels per day at MRC's plant in Melaka, Malaysia.

The decision follows a strategic review of Statoil's downstream position and plans.

The disposal of the share in the technically advanced refinery in Melaka, will have no significant effect on Statoil's oil marketing and trading business in the region. Statoil will continue to deal in crude oil, refined products sourced from third parties and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) through its subsidiary Statoil Asia Pacific in Singapore.

Marcel Kramer, president of Statoil Asia Pacific, says that cooperation between the partners in MRC has been excellent.

"Statoil wishes to allocate the capital and resources involved in this refinery elsewhere and we are pleased that we together arrived at a win-win-solution for the transfer of the ownership," he says.

Statoil will actively support its directly affected employees in Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, and will assist them in finding suitable alternative employment where necessary.