* Refinery offers to sell part of land for $173 mln
* Manguinhos says offered land does not need clean-up
* Brazilian state issued expropriation order last week
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 22 Brazil's Refinaria de
Petroleos Manguinhos SA has offered to sell part of its property
to the government of Rio de Janeiro state for 350 million reais
($173 million) in an effort to stave off expropriation, the
company said on Monday.
The offered property represents about 20 percent of the
company's land, which is near downtown Rio de Janeiro and the
city's port. The sale of the roughly 25-acre (10-hectare) plot
would allow the 60-year-old refinery to continue operating,
Manguinhos said in a statement.
Manguinhos is the only Brazilian refinery not
controlled by state-led oil company Petrobras. It
also has some of the only non-Petrobras oil terminal and storage
facilities near Brazil's rapidly expanding offshore oil frontier
in the Campos and Santos basins.
Unlike much of the refinery site, the land Manguinhos
proposes to sell is not contaminated with petroleum waste and
can be used immediately for the construction of public housing,
the statement said.
The sale would also allow Manguinhos to proceed with a 1.4
billion real investment plan to more than triple its oil and
fuel storage facilities to 6.5 million barrels from 1.8 million
The government of Rio de Janeiro state last week said it
would expropriate the refinery to build public housing as part
of a shantytown renovation project in communities that have
sprung up around the plant.
As a result of the order, Manguinhos asked for trading of
its shares to be suspended. The company also said the order had
forced the suspension of talks with Sinopec
, China's No. 2 oil company, to take part
in the tank-storage expansion plan.
Rio de Janeiro state officials were not immediately
available for comment.
The company's common stock last traded on Oct. 11, when it
closed at 84 centavos on the Sao Paulo stock exchange. The
company's preferred shares closed at 66 centavos the
At those prices the company's market value is about 755
($1 = 2.0277 Brazilian reais)
(Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Dale Hudson)