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‘Superhuman’ effort has kept Coryton open
THE man who tried to broker a deal to save the Coryton oil refinery said it has taken a “super human” effort to keep the plant going even this long.
The refinery, off The Manorway, Stanford-le-Hope, is set to close with the loss of up to 850 jobs after administrators failed to find a buyer.
Steven Pearson, joint administrator with PricewaterhouseCoopers, was appointed in January when the refienery’s parent company went bust. He managed to secure a three-month temporary deal in February to keep Coryton going. Operations at the plant will be wound down over the next three months.
Mr Pearson said the plant had stayed open without cash, losing millions in the past three months.
He said it costs nearly £1million per day to operate the plant plus a further £20million for crude oil.
He said: “The refinery has lost millions trying to stay open.
“Like all refineries, it has lost quite a lot of money because the costs of buying crude oil and refining that oil are huge.
“If the business had been profitable it would have been a more compelling investment.
“It’s taken a super human effort to keep the plant open this long.”
He added: “We are still in discussions with potential buyers, but the possibilities are slim given interested parties have had four months to now to reach an agreement.”
He hopes the plant can remain operating as a storage terminal because Coryton’s facilities are “unmatched”. He added: “I don’t know what the ultimate destiny for Coryton will be until I sign a contract. There have been three options all along, and they are that Coryton is sold as a refinery, it is sold as a storage facility or closed altogether.
“It is ideally situated for road freight and is on the River Thames. We are optimistic it could become a storage facility.
“That would mean there might be 100 to 200 less redundancies.”
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