Russian firm eyes Bosnia’s Brod refinery

BANJA LUKA (Reuters) – Russian state oil company Zarubezhneft is interested in buying Bosnian refinery Brod but only after its 190-million-euro debt is settled, the prime minister of Bosnia’s Serb Republic said. «If the government successfully resolves this problem, the negotiations with the Russian partner will continue,» Premier Milorad Dodik told Serb Republic television late yesterday. Dodik was in Moscow negotiating the sale of the refinery as well as oil distributor Petrol and motor oil refinery Modrica. All three firms are based in the Bosnian Serb Republic. «The partners from Russia want to invest 330 million euros in the reconstruction of the Brod refinery, 34 million euros in the reconstruction of the Modrica refinery, as well as in the reconstruction of petrol stations belonging to Banja Luka-based Petrol,» Dodik said. Dodik in March rejected as too low an offer by Israel’s Alon Israel Oil for the state’s 65 percent stake in the refinery. Its total value has been estimated at 249 million euros. The refinery, based in northern Bosnia on the border with Croatia, can process 120,000 tons of crude a month, covering 80 percent of Bosnia’s needs. It lost markets because of the Balkan country’s 1992-95 war.

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