No deal for Coryton

Coryton Oil Refinery in Essex
In the absence of any serious buyer interest, Coryton’s fate now looks sealed.   DECC is, however, keeping in ‘close contact’ with PwC, as the refinery’s administrators look at further options for its future.
100 possible investors and purchasers
“We’ve had contact with over 100 possible investors and purchasers,” said Steven Pearson, joint administrator and partner with PwC.
“We’ve been unable to reach a deal to date.  Prospective investors in the refinery faced a significant capital expenditure need, as well as a fragile market for refined oil products.”
“I would like to thank the management, the employees, contractors, customers and suppliers for their support and solidarity during the past four months. Any closure process is likely to take up to three months, during which time discussions regarding a possible sale will continue.”
For investors such as Gary Klesch and Igor Yusufov – both reputedly had an interest in Coryton – USA refineries with their cheaper feedstock, may be a much more attractive proposition. Earlier this month, refining margins in the US were reportedly averaging $18.32 per barrel against $6.45 in Europe.
Calls for a level playing field
Petroplus bought Coryton in 2007 for $1.4 billion; the facility produced around 10% of the UK fuels products.
Saddened by the fact that the refinery looks “destined to cease refining operations shortly”, UKPIA said:  “Our thoughts are with the staff and contractors, many of whom have been employed at the site for several years, if not decades.”
Speaking at the Platts Annual European Oil Storage Conference held in Amsterdam earlier this month, UKPIA’s director general, Chris Hunt said:   “If the governments of Member States are sincere in wanting a robust European refining industry that continues to deliver quality employment, energy supply resilience and feedstocks for chemical, bitumen and other key industries, they must be proactive in developing policy that creates a level playing field for this vital energy sector against its global competitors.”
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