Grangemouth oil refinery to close despite posting £100m profit

SCOTLAND'S only oil refinery, which is set to close with the loss of hundreds of jobs, has posted record profits of more than £100 million, prompting renewed calls for action to save it.

The Herald first reported that Petroineos Manufacturing Scotland Limited, which owns and operates the oil refinery at Grangemouth, posted pre-tax annual profits of £107.4m.

The result was a huge turnaround from the £50.5m loss posted the year before and has led to calls for government intervention.

ALBA Deputy Leader, Kenny MacAskill MP, whose party has been heading a one-man parliamentary campaign aimed at saving the Grangemouth refinery, said:

"North Sea oil is and has been pivotal to the UK economy. It's perverse that Scotland’s oil should be refined elsewhere and that Scotland's industrial base is trashed whilst the UK Treasury coins in the cash.

"If Grangemouth is allowed to shut Scotland will be the only major oil producing nation without a refinery. It will put us alongside developing nations such as the Republic of Congo and Trinidad and Tobago both of whom produce less oil than Scotland.

"The UK has made billions from North Sea oil. They’re providing hundreds of millions to Ineos to open a plant in Belgium and have funded foreign battery plants in England to a similar tune. It's time a modest sum was given to Grangemouth from all the billions taken from the North Sea to shore up Scotland’s economy."

It was also revealed earlier this month that the UK Government has backed a Petroineos project in Belgium with around £600m, but has refused to step in on Grangemouth.

Owners Petroineos announced the refinery will operate as normal until at least spring 2025, however, it will then begin transitioning to an oil import terminal.

In 2023, Scottish Energy Secretary Mairi McAllan said that ministers were only told of the plans to close Grangemouth’s oil refinery at the same time as workers and the UK Government.

Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite, which represents many of the refinery workers, said at the time: “Grangemouth workers are angry over the failure by the Scottish and UK governments to bring forward any proposals that support their livelihoods.”

In March, the trade union then hit out at "total silence" from the Scottish Government on how it planned to help Grangemouth stay open for as long as possible, one of their stated aims.

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