One of Britain’s biggest oil refineries is teetering on the brink of collapse, piling further potential pressure on crisis-riven petrol stations.
The Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port, which supplies about a sixth of Britain’s road fuel, is in urgent talks with HM Revenue & Customs over hundreds of millions of pounds it has to start repaying this week unless it can agree a new deal.
Britain’s second largest refinery is owned by the billionaire Ruia brothers Shashi and Ravi through their company Essar Oil UK, which has been under huge financial strain during the pandemic.
The company took advantage of the government’s pandemic VAT deferral scheme last year to the tune of £356 million. Earlier this year, it secured more breathing space to pay