Sindik, who manages Samir, which has been in liquidation since 2016, is preparing to enter into a lease for refinery tanks in favor of a newly formed Moroccan fuel distribution company after the state abandoned the storage option in 2020 when oil prices were at the lowest level.
According to data obtained by Hespress, a few weeks ago the Casablanca Commercial Court ruled allowing Syndic to sign the lease, while negotiations are underway to conclude the contract and start storage.
The “lucky” company that would benefit from the lease if it was signed is a newly formed one, led by a former Depository Manager official, and has begun opening filling stations in a number of major cities.
The storage capacity of the Samir Oil Refinery in Muhammadiyah included 71 days of various fuels, of which 66 days were gas and 49 days gasoline.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, all fuel distribution companies have a stock of the most used gasoline in Morocco for 38 days, while the law establishes a guarantee of at least 60 days.
In May 2020, the government filed a lawsuit to develop the Samir reservoirs to increase oil reserves, which was accepted, but the lease was not signed at a time when a barrel of oil cost about $20.
The new approach to leasing Samir tanks will allow the company, which has not been operating since 2015, to support its monthly expenses with financial resources. the company does not look at the move with satisfaction because it is “not necessarily the best deal.”
The union service warned in a press release of the implications of what it called “exclusive tank leases and no requests for proposals for a distribution company on behalf of which an exclusive permit is being issued” on the course of Samir’s comprehensive asset transfer efforts and on the rights of tenants and interests of creditors.
The trade union body considered that “this decision is contrary to the rules of transparency and competition between stakeholders inside and outside Morocco, and is also an unjustified departure from the procedure for submitting requests for offers in order to select the most suitable offer that will guarantee the interests of Samir and help to increase the national stock of oil and fuel materials, as well as to help reduce prices in the interests of small and large consumers and improve the conditions for competition between sector participants.
Representatives of the company’s employees also confirmed that “a safe and guaranteed solution for the rights and interests of all parties involved in the case of Samir will be achieved only by transferring the assets cleared of debts and mortgages to Samir, in accordance with the rules of Moroccan commercial law, for account of the Moroccan state.
The Samir Refinery, located in the city of Muhammadiyah, was the only refinery available to Morocco for refining oil, and it ceased operation after it ran into debts of over AED40 billion during its period under Saudi businessman Muhammad Hussein Al Amoudi, and in 2016, a decision was made to liquidate it, but so far this has not been successful.