Lenders extend lifeline to cash-strapped Petroplus

Embattled Swiss-based Petroplus said Wednesday that lenders had agreed to temporarily provide vital cash flows to keep two of its oil refineries running in Britain and Germany.

A statement said the “agreement is designed to provide the financial resources necessary to meet critical expenses,” and “to maintain safe ongoing operations at the Coryton and Ingolstadt refineries.”

The deal will also “allow the company and its lenders to negotiate an amendment to the revolving credit facility which is expected to be completed in the second half of January 2012.”

Petroplus, Europe’s largest independent oil refiner, recently announced it was to enforce a temporary halt at three of its refineries after financiers froze an initial $1 billion credit facility.

The affected refineries are Petit Couronne in northern France, the Antwerp refinery in Belgium and Cressier in the Swiss canton of Neuchatel.

The firm’s Coryton refinery in England and the Ingolstadt refinery in Germany are still operational.