Around 180 staff at Coryton refinery will be made redundant next week, increasing the likelihood of the Essex facility being transformed into a storage terminal.

The joint administrators of Petroplus Refining and Marketing held a meeting with the employees and unionised workforce at Coryton yesterday to explain their plans for the redundancy programme.

Administrators Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) have made clear there would likely be a substantial number of redundancies from the 500-strong workforce, with approximately 180 staff to be laid off next week.

A spokesperson for PwC said: “Conversations will take place over the following days with affected individuals. Following cessation of refining activities last week, the programme to safely wind down operations at the refinery continues.”

While newspaper reports this week had named at former Russian minister as the potential sole bidder of Coryton refinery, PwC confirmed it was continuing to work with ‘various parties’ who have expressed an interest in acquiring the Coryton site, but said it is ’highly unlikely’ that it will be sold as a refinery.

Royal Dutch Shell, Greenergy and Vopak are thought to be interested in the site as a storage terminal.

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