"Link Scotland's Oil Refinery with Scotland's Oil Production to Increase Profitability" says MacAskill in Commons Debate

ALBA Party Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP will today (Tuesday) use a Commons Debate, which he has secured, to call for Scotland’s oil refinery at Grangemouth to be linked with Scotland’s oil production.

Opening the Debate “Grangemouth Refinery and Energy Security” Mr MacAskill will state:

"It will surprise many that North Sea Oil isn’t refined at the Grangemouth refinery. That despite the pipeline for the Forties Fields coming ashore at Cruden Bay and then being pipelined on to Grangemouth. Almost all the product refined at the plant is brought in on tanker from elsewhere. It comes in on ships and goes away in trucks. Meanwhile North Sea Oil is transported to other refineries whether in the UK or abroad. That must end. It has always been absurd but now it’s criminal."

Mr MacAskill will also demand that the UK and Scottish Governments intervene and work with the owners to secure £60-80 million investment to restart the hydrocracker at Grangemouth. He will argue that this would increase profitability three-fold and provide the life-line necessary for Grangemouth to transition to a secure future.

There are 500 employees and 2,000 contractors jobs onsite which are under threat unless the necessary investment is made to secure a sustainable future for the complex.

Mr MacAskill will outline these and other steps which can and must be taken to address "current limited profitability" and "buy time so that a transition can take place at the site". He will state: "Moreover, there are also actions which will increase capacity and thus both profitability and productivity. That means linking Scotland’s oil refinery with Scotland’s oil production."

Mr MacAskill earlier today published new research based on data produced by the World Population Review and Oil and Gas Journal which shows that Scotland would be the only nation in the top 25 oil producing countries in the World to be without an oil refinery should Grangemouth operate as an import and export oil terminal facility only.

Grangemouth provides around 70% of the nation's fuel at petrol stations. It is also the primary supplier of aviation fuel for Scotland’s airports.

Mr MacAskill will argue that Grangemouth has been a pillar in the industrial landscape of Scotland for decades, and it must play a crucial role for decades to come.

Mr MacAskill is backing Unite’s campaign to achieve a secure and sustainable future for Grangemouth and is calling for the following essential steps to be taken:

Fix the hydrocracker at the refinery. Its current inoperability is impacting profitability. Restarting it would increase the profitability threefold. That’s significant and would allow for an extension of life at the plant, even without any additional steps being taken. It’s estimated that it would cost between £60 to £80 million to do so. But it must be done. It’s a small cost for such a huge asset and one that’s essential not just to our economy but our society.

Ensure that oil from the Forties field and which is piped to Grangemouth is refined there. As well as restarting the hydrocracker there should also be an increase in capacity and what’s refined. The Forties field pipeline which last year moved approximately 40% of the UK’s oil from the North Sea must be refined at Grangemouth. It requires technological and engineering changes, but they must be done.

Guarantee that oil from new developments such as Rosebank will be refined at Grangemouth negating the environmental harm of inward and outward transportation of oil.

Ensure that as part of a just “workers transition” actions are taken to secure a new future by ensuring a Bio-Fuels capacity at the site.

Mr MacAskill is calling on the Scottish Government to step in, as it did twice under the leadership of Alex Salmond, and save Grangemouth from closure. He is also calling on the UK Government Minister to meet with him and workers representatives from the site.

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