The parent company of Cork’s Whitegate refinery, Phillips 66, has put the facility up for sale after it reported losses of €263.13m last year. That number represents an astonishing rise on the €58.98m posted in 2013.
The company made the announcement yesterday, 18 months after taking the country’s only refinery plant off the market having failed to find a buyer.
The U.S. oil refiner tried to sell it amid low refining margins, but failed to attract strong enough bids.
“Phillips 66 has decided to seek a buyer for its 71,000 barrel-per-day Whitegate Refinery and associated wholesale marketing business in Ireland,” Dennis Nuss, director of media and external relations, said.
“We will run a rigorous process to find the best purchaser for the business. We expect this process to last into 2016. We’ve seen a stronger margin in the Atlantic Basin this year and Whitegate has been performing well in this environment. “
The company is under contract to manage the refinery until July 2016.
The directors’ report details a small recovery in its refining margin during the year as the economic recovery and increasing demand helped offset “external competitive factors” such as low energy costs in the US and supply from Russia.