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Stanlow Refinery closure fears abated as Essar Oil UK reaches deal with HMRC

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Essar Oil UK has reached an agreement with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) over an unpaid tax bill.
Essar and HMRC have agreed a phased payment schedule, aligned with the oil company’s revenues.
The firm said it was confident of resolving the matter after having successfully raised US$$1.1 billion (€1 billion) earlier in the year.
Throughout the pandemic, including during the period that fuel demand was at very low levels, Essar continued to run its Stanlow refinery, instead of shutting it down, to ensure adequate fuel supply to its customers across the UK.
More recently, though aviation volumes remain low, the road fuels market has started to return to more normal levels.
Road fuel sales volumes from Essar’s Stanlow, Northampton and Kingsbury terminals have been up 22% against a ‘normal’ pre-COVID weekend.
On 24 September sales volumes from the three terminals were up 14% on a ‘normal’ Friday.
Satish Vasooja, chief financial officer of Essar UK, said: “I would like to thank HMRC for its support. With this time to pay arrangement, we now have significant runway to stabilise our balance sheet which has been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
“The improved environment around margins gives us the confidence to continue to serve as one of the UK key fuel suppliers with a 16% market share. We will also progress our future energy transition programme whilst also supporting a large proportion of the UK’s much needed fuel supply.”