Shell said that the decision comes after an effort to market the refinery, including a cooperative effort with a special committee to identify and approach potential purchasers. Although the effort resulted in two expressions of interest, there was a significant valuation gap and the company will no longer pursue discussions with the interested parties.

In January 2010, Shell unveiled plans to shut the refinery, but at the request of the Quebec government it extended the bidding process until June 1.

Lorraine Mitchelmore, Shell Canada president and country chair, said: “While we will not get into details about the expressions of interest or parties involved, we have informed the parties, the government and our employees that we will not be continuing discussions for the reason that we are too far apart on some of the terms put forward to realistically reach an agreement on the sale of the refinery. Therefore, we will continue with our plans to convert the refinery in to a terminal.”

Mark Williams, downstream director of Shell, said: “Although we will be closing the refinery, conversion to a terminal will ensure we continue to supply the Montreal market with Shell’s innovative products.”