Confidence in the future of Coryton Refinery
Following a visit to the Coryton refinery on Friday and discussions with Refinery Manager, Jon Barden, Geoffrey has expressed his confidence in the future of the site.
“The financial crisis at the Swiss Petroplus company in recent weeks has had very serious repercussions on its one refinery in the UK, the formerly BP-owned site at Coryton.”
“Coryton is now in administration. It is a stand-alone company and the changes introduced in recent years have already prepared it well to weather the current storm. Undoubtedly there will have to be further changes and financial restructuring.”
“But all I have seen and heard leads me to believe that the business is both competitive and sustainable. There is a very committed and effective management team and a loyal 800- strong workforce. Energy Minister Charles Hendry, has been fully engaged on behalf of the government, the UNITE union is being helpful, and local Conservative MP Stephen Metcalfe has, according to Mr Barden, been ‘tremendous in supporting us’. “
“Coryton is an important economic and strategic asset for the UK and plays a vital role in the local Thurrock economy and community life.”
“It is neither helpful, at this stage, to confuse Coryton with the fate of Petroplus plants in other countries – each of which has its own distinctive profile and circumstances - nor to involve other outside actors. In the longer term, the UK oil refining capacity, as with other industries, will face increasing international competition. All the more reason therefore to seize the opportunity to build for future success”.
“The key to Coryton’s immediate future now lies with its main customers and with its bondholders. It is clearly in their best interests that the Coryton refinery continues as a viable and efficient business. I am confident they recognise this and will act accordingly.”