INEOS refinery deadlock gets political in Scotland as workers await fate
As the owners of Scotland’s only oil refinery weigh its future, politicians in Edinburgh are hurriedly trying to save the plant with less than a year to go before a referendum on independence.
By TIM FARRAN
EDINBURGH -- As the owners of Scotlands only oil refinery
weigh its future, politicians in Edinburgh are hurriedly trying to save the plant with less than a year to go before a referendum on independence.
The Scottish government said it was seeking overseas buyers for the Grangemouth facility after talks reached a stalemate between labor union Unite and Ineos Group Holdings.
First Minister Alex Salmond left his Scottish National Partys annual conference in Perth at the weekend in an attempt to broker a deal. Ineos said it was shutting down output at the site.
The loss of the refinery
would raise questions about the security of supply, Alex Kemp, an economics professor at Aberdeen University and author of a history of North Sea oil, said in an interview yesterday. You cant just rely on plentiful imports because exports from the United States are not going to be widely available over the longer term.
Grangemouth is to manufacturing in Scotland what Royal Bank of Scotland is to the countrys finance industry: too big to fail, economists said. Panicked motorists and truckers flooded fuel stations across Scotland in April 2008 when members of the now 1,350-strong workforce at the refinery
and adjacent petrochemicals
plant went on strike.