The future for the UK’s refineries

An introduction from Fuels Industry UK 

The sector has changed considerably over the last century with rapid growth of demand, global oil shortages, the three-day working week and regulation requiring cleaner fuels among key challenges faced. Now, with the target to meet net zero by 2050 putting particular emphasis on the need to decarbonise operations and products, the sector faces perhaps a greater challenge than it has ever seen before.

The future of the UK's refineries

The UK downstream has a central role to play in decarbonising the transport sector. It lies at the heart of the UK economy, providing a secure supply of affordable energy for road and rail transport, aviation and marine applications, as well as for commercial and domestic heating. The sector will therefore be at the heart of an orderly and fair transition to a net zero economy.

While the sector can play a significant role in future, it cannot be taken for granted. The sector is facing higher energy costs than many competitor countries, and significantly higher costs from the UK Emissions Trading Scheme compared with equivalent schemes abroad. But, with the right policy decisions, the downstream sector can help the UK achieve net zero with a thriving industrial sector still in place.

That is the future we are striving for and is surely what we all want, rather than see the UK import its fuels from countries with lower environmental standards.