A former Russian energy Minister is bidding to stop the Coryton refinery from closing down, according to newspaper reports.
The news comes after the UK Government announced last week that it won’t be providing the refinery any support.
Igor Yusufov emerged as the sole bidder for the bankrupt refinery and could potentially save the jobs of 850 workers at the refinery.
In an interview with a daily paper, Labour MEP Richard Howitt, who has helped campaign against the refinery shutdown said Mr Yusufov was a genuine bidder: “I am aware of his bid and have been assisting it.”
However, there have been questions regarding Mr Yusufov’s integrity as reports claim he was involved in helping finance a Norwegian-owned business, which eventually went bankrupt after some assets were allegedly transferred offshore. But Mr Yusufov has denied any involvement.
In response to the allegations, Mr Howitt added: “I am not commenting on the integrity of the bid, or the bidder. Other people have to assess it.
“I’m supporting it because, as the local representative, this appears to be the only option around that would keep Coryton as a working refinery and would keep the jobs.”
Swiss owner, Petroplus, put the refinery into administration in February but its administrators, PricewaterhouseCoopers were unable to find a buyer for the site.