Petroineos refinery: Scottish and UK Ministers to get round table with Falkirk Council, industry and unions to safeguard future of Grangemouth

Crunch talks on the future of the Grangemouth refinery are due to take place today (Thursday).

Scottish and UK Government Ministers will join representatives from Falkirk Council, unions and industry as part of a new drive to help ensure a “bright future” for the Grangemouth industrial cluster, as well as the workforce, communities and the local economy it supports.

It follows the announcement in November that Petroineos planned to close the refinery as early as 2025 with the potential loss of 400 jobs.

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At the time the company said it hoped to transform Grangemouth, which already imports liquefied natural gas from the US, into a pure fuel import and export terminal within 18 months.

The future of the Grangemouth oil refinery will be discussed by a newly formed Forum. Pic: Michael GillenThe future of the Grangemouth oil refinery will be discussed by a newly formed Forum. Pic: Michael Gillen
The future of the Grangemouth oil refinery will be discussed by a newly formed Forum. Pic: Michael Gillen

The Industrial Just Transition Leadership Forum will be chaired by Energy Secretary Neil Gray and will oversee the work of the Grangemouth Future Industry Board, which was set up in 2020 to look at the future of the site.

However, it has come in for criticism in some quarters for achieving little in that time.

It will now be repurposed to focus on the delivery of a just transition for Grangemouth.

The focus of the first meeting of Forum will be to discuss the recent Petroineos announcement to begin preparatory works on an import terminal at the Grangemouth refinery in the context of delivering a just transition for Grangemouth and to agree next steps.

Mr Gray said: “The establishment of this Forum responds to calls from the Just Transition Commission for Petroineos, the UK Government and the Scottish Government to engage fully and in good faith with workers and the community at Grangemouth and the surrounding area, and create a credible just transition plan that ensures employment levels and economic activity within the community are protected.

“I believe we can collectively work to ensure that there is a positive future for the site, for the workforce and for Scotland’s economy.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring a just transition for Grangemouth. The future of the refinery will play an important part in that and we recognise that we cannot do this alone."

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UK Government minister for Scotland John Lamont said: "This is a difficult time for those workers who are facing uncertainty, along with their families, and the communities around the refinery.

"The repurposing of Grangemouth Future Industry Board is an opportunity for the UK and Scottish governments to come together with representatives from Petroineos, and the local area as we seek assurances on how employees are being supported and explore how the long-term future of the site will continue to contribute to the local economy."We will continue to work with the Scottish Government and partners to deliver the Forth Freeport, which includes Grangemouth, and has the potential to create 50,000 high quality jobs while also helping to drive our transition to net zero."

Falkirk Council leader, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, is one of the members of the Forum, along with Forth Valley College principal Kenny MacInnes and representatives from Unite the Union, Scottish Enterprise Ineos and Petroineos.