ConocoPhillips : UK : Keeping Coryton Refinery Open With Public Money Not Sustainable
05/28/2012| 12:11pm US/Eastern
By Konstantin Rozhnov
The U.K. government had received a request from the administrator of the Coryton refinery in England to provide financial support, but decided that keeping the facility open with public money isn't the best solution for a long-term sustainable future for the plant, a U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change representative said Monday.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, the administrator of Petroplus Holdings AG's U.K. subsidiaries, said earlier Monday that it has been unable to sell the Coryton refinery or refinance its operations.
"The difficulties faced by the administrator reflect overcapacity in the European refining sector, indeed a number of refineries have closed across Europe in recent years," the DECC representative said. "With such overcapacity, it would simply not be sustainable to prop up the refinery with taxpayers' money."
PwC said a substantial number of job cuts from within the 500 strong workforce are likely over the next few months if operations at the 220,000-barrel-a-day facility are wound down.
DECC said earlier Monday that the latest Coryton developments won't affect fuel supply in the U.K.
Coryton has been the only one out of five Petroplus refineries that continued operating after the company lost access to all its credit lines and then filed for insolvency in January.
-By Konstantin Rozhnov, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9956; email@example.com