MILAN (Reuters) - Libyan energy company Tamoil said on Friday it would close a 90,000 barrels per day refinery in Cremona, Italy and gradually transform it into a depot by the end of 2011.
Tamoil did not say in a statement why it planned to close the refinery, but analysts and sector operators have said small and medium-size refiners are the most vulnerable in the refining sector downturn, which has been triggered by the economic crisis and weak demand.
Earlier this year, Tamoil had to suspended production at the Cremona plant to reduce excess stock.
Tamoil said on Friday its activity in sales and distribution of oil products to clients would continue regularly as well as its environmental protection and safety management activities.
It said it would work with local authorities and unions to reduce impact of the refinery closure on jobs.
Apart from the Cremona refinery, Tamoil in Italy owns about 2,000 petrol stations and supplies crude oil, according to its web site www.tamoil.it.