Battle for survival

AN ailing fuel firm faces a double date with destiny as it fights to avoid closure.

Two meetings are planned within days which could determine the future for the Petroplus organisation which includes an oil storage site at Port Clarence, near Hartlepool.

Aministrators from PwC have worked for more than a month to try and secure a future for the company’s assets which include an oil refinery at Coryton, a research and development site in Swansea, and the site near Hartlepool.

They have now issued their proposals to the company’s creditors. They state that, if refinancing and restructuring is not possible, a sale of the refinery and closure are other alternatives.

Steven Pearson, joint administrator and PwC partner said: “Significant progress has been made since our appointment in creating short-term stability at the refinery. We have now gained a comprehensive understanding of the financial position of the company”.

He said that, to continue operations at the refinery in the medium-term, the company would need more than £630m of new financing.

Two meetings have been announced at which the joint administrators will outline the current position of the company, its options and intentions going forward. They will be held next Monday and Wednesday, March 21.

Around 60 people work at the Tees Valley site including workers from areas including Hartlepool and Billingham.