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Moroccan refinery to get capital injection

Moroccan refinery to get capital injection



Corral Petroleum Holdings is committed to injecting $680 million into its Moroccan refiner Samir to try to reverse a decision placing it in liquidation, a lawyer for Corral said. Morocco’s sole refiner halted production in August due to financial difficulties then a court ruling in March placed it in liquidation and named an independent trustee to run it.
The fate of Samir is being closely watched by Morocco’s government as it would be under pressure to nationalise the company if it goes under to save jobs in a country where unemployment has been a sensitive issue.
Morocco would also become reliant on energy imports should the refinery shut down, just at a time the North African kingdom is getting its finances back on track by tackling huge deficits. “I presented a letter to the court from Mohammed al-Amoudi (Saudi billionaire and owner of Corral Holdings) where he announces his commitment to inject $680 million into Samir,” Abdelkbir Tabih said.
The letter asked for legal redress instead of liquidation, Tabih said, adding that the court had postponed a decision on Corral’s appeal against its ruling for a week until May 18. Tabih dismissed accusations that Amoudi had already
announced a $1.04 billion capital increase in September, but failed to keep his promise.
“This is a commitment to a court, not to the shareholders,” he said. Samir has been battling creditors ranging from oil traders to banks who are owed millions, and the Moroccan government which says it owes 13 billion dirhams ($1.4 billion) in taxes.
Morocco’s tax administration seized Samir’s bank accounts in August 2015 when the refinery was shut down, in pursuit of the tax claims. The Moroccan government has said Samir’s total debt is hovering around 44 billion dirhams.
The trustee that has controlled Samir since the court ruling is planning to restart its 200,000 barrel per day complex in an effort to attract buyers during the liquidation process. It said last month that the Commercial Court of Casablanca and the tax authorities had lifted the freeze on Samir’s assets while it worked to restart production as quickly as possible.

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