The owner of the massive Stanlow Manufacturing Complex, Essar Oil UK, has announced that it is confident in the business’s future prospects despite reports that it may be near to collapse.
The company bought the Stanlow facility from Shell in 2011. Around a sixth of the UK’s fuel is produced by the plant, with it making billions of litres of diesel, petrol and jet fuel each year, as well as chemical feedstocks for other products, such as hydraulic oil. It is supplied with crude oil by a 15-mile pipeline connection with the Tranmere Oil Terminal in the Mersey estuary. It also has a pipeline connection with Manchester Airport to supply aviation fuel.
With pandemic-related restrictions reducing overall travel, though, there has been a reduced demand for fuel, which has impacted the company’s refining margins. The company pointed out that its business has been very profitable historically and expressed its optimism for the future:
“We have successfully traded through a very difficult 12 months and are now seeing increased demand for road transport fuels and improving refining margins, which has resulted in increased throughput at the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex. Prior to the coronavirus, we were generating EBITDA in excess of $300m per year.”
The company also expressed its confidence in being able to navigate through this challenging period and emerge from it stronger as the UK’s economy recovers. It also expressed its excitement at supporting the country’s green agenda by supplying sustainable fuels and decarbonising its Stanlow facility.