Closure of Petroplus’ UK refinery to impact economic recovery – MEP

11 June 2012 12:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The closure of Petroplus' Coryton refinery in the UK will impact the region's prospects of economic recovery and affect more jobs than the 900 currently threatened, Richard Howitt, a British member of the European parliament (MEP), said on Monday.  

Speaking at a public protest against the closure, Howitt said public support is essential to force the government to end its refusal to intervene to save the threatened refinery.

The shut down of the refinery started Monday after administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) failed to find a new buyer by the mid-May deadline.

In January, Switzerland-based Petroplus said it would file for insolvency after lenders froze about $1bn (€800m) in credit lines in late December 2011. The insolvency affected Petroplus’s five refineries in Europe, including Coryton.

"It's everyone’s job that's at stake if nearly a thousand workers and their families lose their livelihoods, in an area where businesses have been suffering more than most,” said Howitt.

"The government accepts that the Thames Gateway [transport and logistics gateway for the UK and Europe where the refinery is located] is nationally important for economic regeneration, so must not stand by while one of its most important businesses in one of the most crucial areas goes under,” he added.

"Government representatives repeatedly told us that best efforts were being made to find a new buyer, but today's protest shows that today no-one believes they were telling the truth," said Howitt.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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