The owners of Stanlow oil refinery at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire are seeking to sell the facility, according to reports in the Financial Times.
India’s Essar Group, which bought the refinery from Shell for $350m in 2011, is in talks with a number of parties about selling a minority stake or the entire plant, it quotes two sources as saying, and is examining options to exit its UK operations.
Essar Energy is the subsidiary of the group that owns the refinery and earlier this week its shares ceased trading on the London Stock Exchange after completion of a move to take the company private.
Essar denied the group planned to sell the refinery and pointed out it had invested in upgrading the plant.
There are only seven oil refineries in the UK and they are facing a harsh economic climate. Murphy Oil is already trying to sell its refinery at Milford Haven, and has ceased processing crude oil at the plant, and last year the refinery at Grangemouth in Scotland was shut down by the owner, Petroineos, before an agreement was reached with unions and it agreed to invest in its future.