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Singapore Petrochemical Plant in receivership

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Jurong Aromatics Corp, operator of one of the world's largest petrochemical plants, has been pushed into receivership after debt-restructuring talks stalled, according to a filing with Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

[SINGAPORE] Jurong Aromatics Corp, operator of one of the world's largest petrochemical plants, has been pushed into receivership after debt-restructuring talks stalled, according to a filing with Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

Restructuring firm Borrelli Walsh has been appointed the receiver, according to the filing dated Monday. Cosimo Borrelli, Hong Kong-based managing director at the receiver, didn't immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail. Jurong Aromatics said in an e-mailed statement it declined to comment.

Jurong Aromatics hasn't been able to service interest payments amid a plunge in oil prices and operations have been stalled since December, people familiar with the matter said last month. The group had been locked in talks with lenders including BNP Paribas SA and Standard Chartered Plc, as well as suppliers Glencore Plc, BP Plc and SK Energy Co, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.

The latest move also comes amid a China-led slowdown that's hurt prices for commodities from oil to copper and investor concerns that Jurong Aromatics's shareholder Glencore isn't cutting debt quickly enough.

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The Singapore government's Economic Development Board had said the US$2.4 billion plant has given a boost to the city's reputation as a leading chemical hub. The agency's investment arm has a 5 per cent stake in the project and had tried to facilitate discussions among the stakeholders.

The company had US$1.53 billion in liabilities and US$68.7 million of accumulated losses as at the end of 2013, according to the company's latest available financial records. BP, Glencore, SK Energy have secured claims against the firm, while BNP Paribas led a US$1.73 billion loan facility in 2011 that has yet to be repaid, the records show.

Jurong Aromatics is owned 30 per cent by SK International Investment, 25 per cent by China's Jiangsu Sanfanxiang Group Co and 10 per cent by Glencore. Other shareholders include Arovin Ltd, Shefford Investments, UVM Investment Corp and Essar Ltd, company records filed with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority show.

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