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Unite comment on the Coryton refinery

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

On the morning of June 11th there were protests outside the Coryton refinery amid warnings that the closure of the facility could drain £ 100 million from the economy. Over 100 people staged the demonstration outside the facility including Unite members and Labour MEP Richard Howitt. After the protest at the facility, the group moved to the town centre in Corringham to distribute flyers and gain more support.

The protest was organised after warnings from the leader of Thurrock council stating that the closure of the plant would result in a huge economic impact on the economy. Due to the impending closure, 1000 local people are facing job losses.



Britain’s largest union, Unite asked the government to act in the national interest by funding the Coryton plant with state aid until a buyer can be found.

Thurrock council commissioned an economic impact assessment on the closure or change of use of the site. Initial figures are as follows:

  • Loss of £ 30 million in wages.
  • Loss of £ 26 million in contractor costs.
  • Loss of £ 6 million in locally sourced materials.
  • Loss of £ 40 million usually spent on chemicals and utilities.
  • Loss of £ 5 million in business rates.


Unite assistant general secretary, Tony Burke said: ‘The economic impact and human cost of Coryton’s closure will be massive. The government cannot continue to sit on its hands and allow livelihoods to be destroyed.

‘Over £ 100 million could be drained from the local and national economy as well as the UK’s refining capacity being undermined. Today’s protest shows that the workers, who have kept the site running feel let down, and angry by the government’s failure to intervene.’

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd

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