Grangemouth dispute 'will not hit fuel supplies'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
24 October 2013

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The owners of the Grangemouth terminal say fuel supplies will not be affected by the controversial shutdown of the petrochemical plant and refinery.


INEOS said it had been stockpiling fuel to ensure there would be no shortages during the bitter dispute with the union Unite involving the future of the depot.


The company said today that it would be restarting the oil refinery after Unite agreed to a “survival plan” including a wage freeze, changes to the pension scheme and a commitment not to strike for three years.


A spokesman said: “We have been working closely with the Scottish and UK governments. We got in place very robust contingency plans. We had been bringing in fuel by sea. Although the refinery has been down we have got sufficient stocks. Now that we have assurances that the survival plan has been accepted, we are looking to bring up the petrochemical plant and the refinery.”


On Wednesday INEOS announced the complete closure of the terminal after Unite rejected the survival plan, before the union then performed a U-turn.


Previously the company had warned the petrochemical plant was losing £10 million a month and changes were necessary to ensure its, and the refinery’s, survival.


INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe said: "This is a victory for common sense.”


Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “Grangemouth is the powerhouse of the Scottish economy - it now has a fighting chance of upholding this crucial role into the future. 
"Obviously today's news is tinged with sadness - decent men and women are being asked to make sacrifices to hold onto their jobs, but the clear wish of our members is that we work with the company to implement its proposals. 
"Unite has worked tirelessly to save Grangemouth because we are totally committed to this plant and its incredible workforce. We will now sit down with INEOS to consult on the company's proposals."

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