Petroplus Holdings, a major independent Swiss fuel retailing firm, will pay $1.4 billion for the refinery in south east England and its related assets, which include its adjacent bulk terminal and BP’s UK bitumen business.

In return for selling its Coryton refinery to the continental outfit, BP has secured a long-term supply agreement for the fuel refined at the facility.

The sale is scheduled to be completed around the summer of 2007.

BP is very much committed to the UK and does not need to own a refinery in the UK to offer its UK customers the best in fuel products, PetrolWorld quoted John Manzoni, chief executive of BP’s refining and marketing business, as saying.