A shipment of crude oil is now being discharged at the beleaguered Coryton refinery in Essex, easing the threat to fuel supplies for a few more days.

The joint administrators of the Petrogas refinery this morning acquired a cargo of oil to be processed at the Coryton refinery, allowing refining to continue while efforts to find a more stable solution are advanced.

Steven Pearson, joint administrator and partner at PwC, said: “It has required extensive discussions and intense negotiations to acquire this cargo of oil. It provides vital breathing space.

“Discussions have been ongoing with a number of parties who have expressed an interest in sustaining refining at the site, and this purchase provides more time to allow those discussions to be assessed by all parties.

“We continue to work through the day and night to find a solution which buys more time and which ultimately could result in a sale. The support of the management, employees and unions at Coryton has been outstanding and a critical factor in getting to this stage. We are grateful for their ongoing support and resolve and we all remain focused on finding a solution together.”

Administrators Pearson and Stephen Oldfield, partners with PwC, were appointed on January 24 and have continued refining operations at the plant since their appointment.

Pearson added: “The costs of operating the site are very significant and this means we are living from hand to mouth. We cannot guarantee anything at this stage, but at least with have extended the period which the site can operate for by a number of days. This extra time is critical in maximising our options.”

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