Firms 'interested in bust refinery'

Ministers have revealed that nearly 50 firms have expressed an interest in the Coryton oil refinery, which recently fell into administration.

The news comes as administrators PwC work to secure a new owner for the Essex site, where refining work is ongoing thanks to a new cargo of oil.

The Government said that it was "very encouraging" that firms from across the globe were expressing an interest in Coryton, which supplies around a fifth of the fuel in London and the South East.

The long-term future of the site, which was put into administration by Swiss owner Petroplus, was thrashed out by politicians when they met leading business and union figures.

Energy minister Charles Hendry chaired the meeting.

He said: "There are critical issues to be resolved in the coming weeks. For the long term, I understand there have been over 40 expressions of interest in Coryton from companies around the world, which is extremely encouraging. Work will now focus on securing a sustainable long-term future for the refinery."

Copyright Press Association 2012