Italy to Ask EU Time to Save Lukoil-Owned ISAB Refinery

Italy has been considering options to save its Lukoil-owned ISAB refinery in Sicily, as the EU prepares to commence sanctions on Russian oil from Dec. 5. Italian government could ask the bloc for a temporary waiver for ISAB on upcoming sanctions, industry minister Urso said. Italy has been trying to keep the Sicily refinery operational in order to avoid job losses and a plunge in oil refining capacity. ISAB refines a fifth of Italy’s crude and employs about 1,000 workers, whose representatives met the government on Friday along with company executives, as workers demonstrated in Sicily.

Urso said Italy could ask the European Union “for an exemption, even temporary, to the embargo,” which would allow the government to buy time and keep the refinery afloat.

However, Urso underlined that the government’s primary goal was to secure deals with the banks to provide funds for the plant.

“We will discuss with banks whether they are open to finance ISAB if state agency SACE extends guarantees,” he added.

Banks have been reluctant to make a deal with a Russian entity, although neither Lukoil nor its Swiss subsidiary Litasco, which controls the refinery, are subject to EU sanctions.

Under current EU regulations SACE would be ready to guarantee up to 90% of the financing amount.

Urso said the government is also considering a direct state support for the plant. He referred to Germany’s takeover of a refinery owned by Rosneft in September.

Discussions to sell the ISAB plant have been dragging on.

Last month, Litasco rejected a bid from U.S. fund Crossbridge. Urso said any potential buyer would have to abide by conditions laid down to protect Italy’s national interest.

Such conditions would be established through the so-called golden power, a special mechanism the Italian government can use to block foreign takeovers of assets the country considers strategic.

Rome has also been pushing Litasco to provide oil and financing beyond the December deadline.

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now

Need to access the insight?

Start your 7-day free trial now


Do you need to access special insights on this matter?

Start your 7-day free trial  and become a member today


Subscribe to Top Insights Today

Subscribe to Executive Newsletter Top Insights Today

The Executive Newsletter -Top Insights Today- puts global business events in perspective through special insights

Join the ranks of global executives and subscribe to Top Insights Today

Top Insights Today covers insights on energy, clean-tech, oil&gas, mining, rare earths, defense, aviation, infrastructure, manufacturing, electrical vehicles, big-tech, finance and politics of business

By clicking subscribe you agree to our privacy and cookie policy and terms and conditions of use.

Read more insights

U.S. Authorizes Starlink to Expand Offerings to Moving Vehicles

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday authorized SpaceX to use its Starlink satellite internet network with moving vehicles. The company has been looking to expand its offerings to commercial airlines, shipping vessels and trucks.

Uniper to Restart Coal Power Plant to Mitigate Impact of Reduced Gas Supplies

German utility Uniper on Monday announced that it would restart electricity production for the domestic market at its Heyden-4 hard coal fired power plant after Gazprom announced it would halt gas flows through Nord Stream 1 for three days, which could cause disruptions to power supply in Europe. The coal power plant will start production from Aug. 29 until Apr. 30, 2023, Uniper said in a statement. 

Europe Needs to Restock Gas in Summer After Surviving Winter

European natural gas storage levels have not fallen as much as feared following milder winter weather and high volume of LNG imports. However, refilling the stocks could be a challenge in the summer.

Stay informed

error: This content is protected !!