BP puts Coryton on the market

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BP announced today that it has decided to sell its Coryton Refinery in Essex, which processes 172,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

Coryton produces petrol and diesel, including the new 'cleaner' fuels, aviation fuels, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), fuel oils and bitumen. It started up in 1953 and currently employs in the region of 540 BP staff and numerous contractors.

BP said the decision to sell followed a review of the company's European refining portfolio which concluded that maintaining a smaller network of refineries in Europe would provide greater benefit to the BP Group.

"We remain committed to our UK businesses and ensuring that we are able to fully maintain the supply of fuel products to them will be a key element of the sales agreement," said John Manzoni, chief executive of BP's refining and marketing business. "In particular we will require the buyer to provide a long term supply agreement and continuing use of the adjacent distribution terminal. This will also allow us to support and further develop our bio and differentiated fuels strategies in the UK."

BP is in the process of holding initial discussions with a number of potential buyers and will commence more detailed negotiations in the next couple of months. As the refinery is being sold as a going concern, BP said there is unlikely to be any significant impact on jobs.

The sale includes the Coryton distribution terminal, which is adjacent to the refinery, and BP's UK bitumen business, which is integrated with Coryton.