Positive announcements on Grangemouth refinery 'hopefully soon'

The new secretary of state for Scotland Ian Murray said the refinery was a 'hugely important priority'.

Positive announcements on Grangemouth refinery ‘hopefully soon’, says Scottish secretary Ian Murray

Positive announcements about the future of the Grangemouth refinery will “hopefully” be made soon, the new Scottish secretary has said.

The refinery, which is the only one in Scotland, is due to close and be turned into a finished fuels import terminal as early as next year.

The move risks hundreds of jobs with trade unions and the former first minister Humza Yousaf warning at the time of the announcement that the scale of job losses could be “quite significant”.

After last week’s general election results, and Labour securing power at Downing Street, the refinery, owned in partnership by Ineos and PetroChina, has returned to the fore.

New Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer and First Minister John Swinney discussed the situation at their first official meeting on Sunday.

The Grangemouth refinery closure was announced last year.STV News

While the new UK Government has so far refused to say whether public money will be used to save jobs, new Scottish secretary Ian Murray said the refinery was a “hugely important priority”.

Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday morning, he said: “The Prime Minister and the First Minister discussed this on Sunday, it was the very first briefing that I got when I was appointed as secretary of state for Scotland on Saturday morning.”

He added: “The bottom line here is we’ve got both governments fully focused on trying to find a way through in terms of Grangemouth.

“There will be, hopefully, fairly positive announcements soon on a way forward.”

Mr Murray declared the refinery being turned into a hub for the creation of aviation fuel presented a “huge opportunity”.

However, when asked if public funds would be used, he added: “The bottom line at the moment is that we don’t know the answers to those questions – nobody does.

“That’s why the Scottish Government, UK Government, the trade unions and the company are working very, very hard together to find a way through this huge problem that we have at the Grangemouth refinery.”

He added: “We’ll have to look at what we can do to try and find a way through this.”

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