Troubled refinery back in business
Petrol delivery trucks are once again rolling from the gates of Coryton oil refinery after a shutdown triggered when the site collapsed into administration.
The Essex refinery's administrators, PwC, said after discussions with suppliers and customers, who include BP, they had started shipments of refined oil products with immediate effect, easing fears over fuel shortages.
The site, which supplies 20% of fuel in London and the South East, halted sales after its Swiss owner Petroplus placed the refinery into administration, prompting fears of up to 1,000 job losses.
BP is understood to be the refinery's biggest customer but previously said it had not suffered from any immediate supply issues.
The formerly BP-owned refinery had been operating as usual otherwise, but with no deliveries of petrol or other products, including bitumen, leaving the site.
While deliveries have started again, PwC was unable to confirm whether the shipments were running at full capacity.
A meeting is expected to be held later on Thursday involving the administrators, the Government and unions as part of efforts to secure the refinery's future.
Coryton staff were told to expect some job losses, union sources informed the Press Association, although administrators are confident of finding a buyer. A ship was due to dock to unload 600,000 barrels of crude oil, the union official said.
PwC, which is also dealing with the administration of two other locations - an oil storage site in Teesside and a research and development site in Swansea - said Petroplus had suffered as a result of "low refining margins and high restructuring costs".
Petroplus reported a net loss of 413 million US dollars (£265 million) in the first nine months of last year, while in December its banks withdrew a 1.05 billion US dollar (£675 million) portion of its 2.01 billion US dollar (£1.29 billion) credit facility.