Court orders liquidation of Morocco oil refinery

Friday 18/03/2016
SAMIR employs 1,200 people directly and 3,000 indirectly

CASABLANCA (Morocco) - A Casablanca court Monday ordered the winding up of Morocco's sole oil refinery SAMIR after it was unable to honour debts amounting to several billion euros, a judicial source said.
The ruling came after an attempt to resolve the issue with creditors failed, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"The customs service and all of the creditors rejected the proposed financial offer from (company chief) Sheikh Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi because it was derisory," the source said.
SAMIR (Moroccan and Italian Refining Ltd) director general Jamal Ba-Amer had offered creditors the equivalent of 370 million euros, while its debt was around four billion, 120 million euros (45 billion dirhams), the source said.
The liquidation "condemns to death the whole town and throws 6,000 workers into the unknown", said socialist politician Mehdi Mezouri in Mohammedia just northeast of commercial capital Casablanca.
For its part, the company website says SAMIR employs 1,200 people directly and 3,000 indirectly.
SAMIR was established in 1959 and in 1999 merged with SCP, the Sherifian Petrol Company.
It is 67 percent owned by the Saudi-Swedish Corral group and has a refining capacity of 150,000 barrels per day.