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Union boss hopeful over Coryton future
8:00am Thursday 24th May 2012 in News
A UNION boss representing workers at the troubled Coryton refinery says he remains hopeful the business will be saved.
Russ Ball, from Unite, said there is still a lot of interest in the refinery and a preferred bidder could emerge by next week.
Mr Ball conceded closing the refinery and turning it into a storage facility is an option, but denied it is the only one on the table.
He said: “Negotiations are taking place, and they are going through due diligence with potential investors.
“I would expect there to be a preferred bidder in about a week’s time.
“Different groups have different interests, one option is a storage facility, but we’ve always known that.
“There are people interested in asset stripping, and people there who want to invest in the business.
“You don’t go through due diligence unless it is with serious players.”
Mr Ball said the workers he had spoken to remained optimistic.
He added: “The workers are still positive, obviously there is some apprehension as we are coming into the end game now, but they are still hopeful there will be a restructure.
“We should know where we are at the end of the month, one way or another.”
Businesses who rely on trade from workers based at Coryton are also worried.
Daniel Murray, manager of the Bull pub in Church Road, Corringham, said: “We are very concerned at the possible closure of the refinery, because of the impact on ourselves and other local businesses.”
Georgia Blundell, 19, who works in snack bar LB’s, off The Manorway, added: “I’ve noticed we’ve had fewer tanker drivers, but we’re not too worried about trade because we get a lot of customers from other sites.”