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Alcmene possible operator of Germany's Schwedt refinery -Handelsblatt

Vienna-based Alcmene Group is interested in taking over the partly Rosneft-owned (RNFTF) PCK Schwedt refinery in eastern Germany, the Handelsblatt business daily said on Monday.

Alcmene tried to buy Shell's 37.5% share (RDSA/N) in Schwedt last year but this was pre-empted by Rosneft which sought to increase its holding above its 54% stake, a deal that was put on hold this year by Berlin in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

Italy's Eni (XS1551068676) also holds a minority stake in Schwedt.

"We are prepared to take over the PCK Schwedt refinery completely," Alcmene MD Raul Riefler was quoted as saying in an interview published by Handelsblatt.

Handelsblatt also said Leipzig-based biofuel company Verbio (VBK) was interested in "refitting" the refinery. It said

Alcmene and Verbio officials were not available for immediate comment.

PCK Schwedt is set to cut output as it stops using Russian oil it receives via the Druzhba pipeline through Poland and as the European Union plans to impose an embargo on Russian oil imports in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Shell has already stopped buying Russian oil.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has said his ministry is working flat out to find alternative options for ownership and logistics of the plant, which is an important supplier of transport fuels to the region around the German capital of Berlin.

Non-Russian deliveries into the Polish port of Gdansk have accelerated and Germany's Rostock port has also been earmarked as an alternative to Russian pipeline oil.

Handelsblatt separately said that Verbio would be interested in widening its biogas-based activities in the vicinity of the refinery to turn the site into carbon-free operations in the long run.

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