(Clarifies refining asset in last paragraph is in Australia)
LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) - Commodities trader Vitol has agreed to buy an 85,000 barrel per day (bpd) condensate splitter in the Netherlands from Koch Supply and Trading, a subsidiary of U.S. conglomerate Koch Industries, Vitol said in a statement on Tuesday.
The world’s largest oil trader has been expanding in the downstream and retail sectors over the last few years as it seeks outlets for its growing traded volumes.
Such assets also allow the trader to access new markets and to forge longer-term supply deals as opposed to ad hoc ones, the traditional base of its business.
Vitol’s traded oil volume grew by 16 percent to over 7 million bpd last year.
The splitter, located in Rotterdam, is a specialised refining asset that processes very light oil, known as condensate, into higher value products such as naphtha that is used in the petrochemical industry and gasoline blending.
Vitol did not disclose the value of the deal.
“The splitter is a well-run asset in a good strategic location at the heart of Rotterdam’s oil and petchem industry. Its acquisition will enhance our offering to our customers across the region,” Russell Hardy, Vitol CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in the statement.
Vitol has a refining capacity of 390,000 bpd through various joint venture investments in northern Europe, Australia and the Middle East. It owns and operates the Cressier and Bayernoil refineries via subsidiary Varo Energy and has a majority stake in a refinery in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. (Reporting by Julia Payne and Bengaluru Newsroom; Editing by Mark Potter)