The Essex refinery at Coryton is about to close with administrators expecting a “substantial number of redundancies” from the 500 strong workforce over the next few months. Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers spoke to over 100 possible investors and purchasers but were unable to reach a deal.
The Coryton plant in Essex was put into administration in February by its Swiss owner Petroplus. PwC said the site would be closed down over the next three months after the challenge of raising the £625 million needed to fund the refinery proved too hard.
Steven Pearson, Joint Administrator with PwC said: “The current financing market is exceptionally difficult – capital is short and expensive. Prospective investors in the refinery faced a significant capital expenditure need, as well as a fragile market for refined oil products. These factors have conspired against us in trying to structure a deal.”
The plant produces about 175,000 barrels of crude oil per day and supplies 20% of fuel in London and the South East. Many have voiced concern that the closure of the plant would impact the local area with shortages.
A DECC spokesperson said: “We want to reassure people that there will not be any impact on fuel supply from this development. Continuing jetty operations at Coryton means that there should be no loss of supply through the terminal to London and the South East.”