May 28, 2019 / 9:10 PM / 3 months ago

Petroperu eyes selling up to $1 bln in assets at Talara refinery

LIMA, May 28 (Reuters) - State-owned Peruvian oil company Petroperu is evaluating selling units in its flagship Talara refinery to raise up to $1 billion to help finance a massive, unfinished expansion at the facility, the new head of the company said on Tuesday.

The company previously planned to sell more bonds to close the remaining financing gap for its $4.7 billion expansion of Talara, which aims to raise the refinery’s capacity to 95,000 barrels of oil per day from the current 65,000.

But Carlos Paredes, who was named president of Petroperu’s board last month, said the company already has too much debt and is looking at selling assets at Talara instead.

“We’re evaluating the sale of auxiliary units (of Talara) that could give us between $800 million and $1 billion with which we would close the refinery’s financing gap,” Paredes told a news conference.

Paredes said it would likely take Petroperu four months before it puts any assets on the market. The refinery’s expansion, which started in 2014, is 75 percent complete and is on track to wrap up in the first quarter of 2021, he added.

Petroperu has already sold $2 billion in dollar-denominated bonds and secured a $1.3 billion loan from Spanish state-backed insurer Cesce to pay for the project.

Paredes said that the $4.7 billion price tag for the expansion does not include financing costs. (Reporting by Maria Cervantes, writing by Mitra Taj Editing by James Dalgleish)

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