Petroplus says will shut down three refineries in January

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Embattled oil refiner Petroplus said on Friday it will begin a temporary shutdown of three of its plants in January after lenders froze a $1 billion credit facility.

"The company will start temporary economic shutdowns of the Petit Couronne, Antwerp and Cressier refineries in January 2012 given limited credit availability and the economic climate in Europe," the Swiss firm said in a statement.

Europe's largest independent oil refiner said it held meetings with lenders in Zurich on Thursday, describing the talks as "open and constructive."

Further negotiations will take place in the coming days as the company seeks to get the credit line crucial to its operations restored.

Restarting the refineries will depend on economic conditions and credit availability, Petroplus said.

The firm owns and operates the Petit Couronne refinery in France, Antwerp in Belgium and Cressier in Switzerland as well as the Coryton refinery in England and the Ingolstadt refinery in Germany.

© 2011 AFP

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