Nearly 850 jobs are at risk in Essex with news that the Coryton refinery is facing closure. The largest oil refinery in the UK, Coryton’s owner Petroplus went into administration this year and buyers are being sought for the plant.
Potential bidders are proving difficult to find and administrators Price Waterhouse Coopers suggest the price tag of £650m is providing a barrier to potential purchasers; nearly 350 contractors work for Coryton as well as 500 direct employees.
PWC announced that a large number of job losses could be expected if the refinery’s operations are halted; any closure could take up to 3 months and sale negotiations could still take place throughout that time.
It is anticipated operations will begin to be wound down in early June if a buyer is not forthcoming. Negotiations are underway however, with several bidders who have alternative plans for the refinery, such as converting the site into a storage facility.