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Pandemic prompts Spanish oil refiner to offer furlough scheme for 30% of its staff

March 31/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spanish oil refiner Petronor, majority-owned by Repsol, has offered a furlough scheme for one third of its 900 employees in response to a major reduction in fuel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The refinery in Bilbao, northern Spain, with a capacity of 220,000 barrels of crude oil per day has been processing crude at 60% capacity for 271 days, the company said on Monday, during which time it offered training to keep employees active.

Unable to keep this up, the company said it would now start negotiations with labour representatives to decide on temporary layoffs until the end of 2021.

"The current uncertainty about a return to mobility, primarily depending on the vaccination process, makes it impossible to predict when the refinery can go back to functioning normally," the statement said.

Petronor said it thought the situation was temporary and it was continuing to work towards a future in the low-carbon energy industry.

As MRC reported earlier, Spain's Repsol is seeking European pandemic recovery funds to support projects including new biofuel plants and 'green' hydrogen production made from renewable sources in a pivot away from oil and gas to supplying low-carbon energy.

We remind that Repsol's refinery at Puertollano in central Spain has carried out an upgrade of its olefins unit. The modernization was a part of planned maintenance of the cracker and chemical derivative plants at the end of 2020.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 241,030 tonnes in January 2021 versus 217,890 tonnes a year earlier. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 141,870 tonnes in January 2021 versus 123,520 tonnes a year earlier. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

Repsol S.A is an integrated Spanish oil and gas company with operations in 28 countries. The bulk of its assets are located in Spain.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, LDPE, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Repsol, Spain, Russia.
Category:General News
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