Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, commenting on the recent developments at the Coryton Oil Refinery said: “I was extremely disappointed by yesterday’s news but, in the light of a failure to secure a deal at this point, it is understandable that PWC has had to put a halt to the Turnaround Programme and to start the process of consulting with employees about redundancy.
“I have huge sympathy for everyone at the Refinery following today’s news. Staff, Management and Unions have worked incredibly hard to find a long term sustainable future for the Refinery. Today’s news is a real set back.
“That said, I am aware there are still interested parties and that PWC have confirmed discussions will continue, but they have had to make some choices based on the fact no deal was in place by the deadline.
“Therefore, while I don’t want to give false hope, I also don’t want to send a message of no hope.
“I will continue to talk with both the Refinery and Government, as I have today, to see what can be done even now, to turn these events around.
“Over the last four months there have been a number calls for the Government to do more to save the Coryton Refinery. I want to state for the record that the Government has done all it can to support the Refinery and the process of finding a long term solution to the Refinery’s problems.
“The Government have been involved at every stage and continues to support the Administrators in seeking to find a solution. I am disappointed that Labour politicians are trying to use the plight of Coryton workers for their own political gain.
“The fact is the Government is not in the refining business and has to balance the needs of the workers at the Refinery and the demands of the taxpayer. The idea that the Government should spend more than a billion dollars to buy the Refinery is not credible and would not be acting in the best interest of the taxpayer.
“There may have been an argument that the Government could have provided some form of guarantee had a workable restructuring plan been an option, but that is not the case and not a viable alternative.
“The announcement yesterday is an outcome that none of us had wanted. I have worked closely with the refinery to explore a number of options and had hoped and still hope that a solution can be found which would secure the hundreds of jobs the Refinery supports.
“I and the Government will continue to do what can be done, and I will not give up hope until every option has been fully explored.”