Essex refinery hit by Petroplus closure

A major UK oil refinery in Essex is under threat of closure after news broke that its parent oil company Petroplus announced it would file for bankruptcy. Should the plant […]

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By Tom Gibson

A major UK oil refinery in Essex is under threat of closure after news broke that its parent oil company Petroplus announced it would file for bankruptcy. Should the plant shut down commentators say London’s supplies could be dangerously low and many jobs could be lost.

The plant, which processes 175,000 barrels of crude oil per day, has reportedly halted sales. Coryton is a major supplier of fuel to London and the South East and some fear petrol stations in the area will be without fuel, as a result.

However, a spokesperson for the UK petroleum industry association(UKPIA) told ELN: “The plant hasn’t stopped refining and the people who work there still have their jobs, but we’re waiting to hear from the administrator.”

Over the past few weeks, Petroplus has been negotiating with lenders to reopen credit lines needed to carry on operating but the Zurich-based owner said talks had broken down and it would be filing for insolvency.

Jean-Paul Vettier, Petroplus’ Chief Executive Officer said: “We have worked hard to avoid this outcome. We are fully aware of the impact that this will have on our workforce, their families and the communities where we have operated our businesses.”

The Coryton refinery was originally commissioned in 1953 by the Vacuum Oil Company, a subsidiary of Mobil and was purchased by Petroplus in 2007.