The owner of Scotland’s only oil refinery has said it could cut operations at the plant as soon as 2025.
Owner company Petroineos, a joint venture between Chinese state-owned PetroChina and London-based Ineos, is implementing a transformation timescale of around 18 months with the resulting site being capable of importing petrol, diesel, aviation fuel and kerosene.
The move is said to come as a result of significant market pressures and will see the plant converted into a fuels import terminal, resulting in the loss of at least 400 jobs.
Franck Demay, chief executive at Petroineos Refining, said: “This does not change anything for our operation today, where it is business-as-usual at the Grangemouth refinery.”
“As the energy transition gathers pace, this is a necessary step in adapting our business to reflect the decline in demand for the type of fuels we produce.”
The announcement comes as the UK’s oil and gas industries operate on borrowed time in the face of the green transition.
A report this week from Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) found that decommissioning costs for the UK’s North Sea oil and gas fields will exceed UK capital expenditure by or before 2040.
For its own part, Petroineos said two years ago it was spending at least £1bn on trying to cut emissions from Grangemouth, which currently handles around 150,000 barrels a day and accounts for four per cent of Scotland’s GDP.
The original Grangemouth refinery was established in 1924 and was one of the first crude oil refineries in the UK.