Times: Large refinery in Cheshire on brink of collapse


By Newsroom

The Stanlow oil refinery, one of the largest in the UK is on the brink of collapse according to The Times. The Refinery, based in Cheshire, owes hundreds of millions of pounds to HMRC which it needs to start paying within days. Stanlow supplies an estimated sixth of the UK’s petrol and diesel and needs to arrange a delay in payment according the Times.

According to the internet the refinery is due to open at 7am tomorrow Sunday but that might be in some doubt now if they can’t meet payments to HMRC.

The refinery is owned by Essar Oil UK who are in turn owned by an Indian multinational conglomerate and construction company Essar Group founded by Shashi Rula and Ravi Rula in 1969.

Essar Oil in April 2017 were fined £1.65 million relating to an explosion at the refinery

The explosion occurred because Essar had replaced a safety critical valve with an incorrect valve and had not properly validated the operation of the valve. Sentencing Essar to a fine of £1.65 million Mr. Justice Davis found that culpability was somewhere between high and medium in respect of the Sentencing Council guideline and the risk of harm was category 1.

Essar Oil UK provided a statement on Financing, VAT and Governance Update on their website in a news statement issued on 17th September

Prashant Ruia, Chairman of EOUK, commented:

“The pandemic has led to extremely challenging time for the refining industry in the UK in particular, as a collapse in demand for our end products placed considerable financial and management strain on the business. The overall environment remains difficult, but given the considerable steps we have taken, we are now in a stronger financial position, and importantly, we are seeing improved levels of demand as the market recovers. We remain cautious about the medium term outlook for the business. I am pleased with the progress we have made on our VAT repayments and would like to thank HMRC for their continued engagement.”


Tranmere Oil Terminal feeds the Essar Oil refinary. Crude is unloaded to storage tanks then pumped 15 miles by pipeline to the Stanlow refinery. The refinery uses mainly North Sea Crude Oils with much of it from oilfields in Scottish waters.