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South East braced for fuel shortage
25 Jan 2012
Motorists in south-east England could face a petrol shortage after two suppliers in the area went bankrupt and on strike.
Late on Monday it emerged that the Coryton refinery in Essex had stopped supplies after its parent company, the Swiss-based oil refiner Petroplus, said it was insolvent. Petroplus made the move after failing to persuade creditors to extend deadlines for loan repayments.
Meanwhile truckers at another supplier have begun a seven-day strike.
Some 20% of fuel used in the South East is supplied by Coryton. Fears have been raised for both supplies in the region and the people who work at the site - more than 1,000 staff.
The East of England MEP, Richard Howitt, said the firm's collapse could have a devastating effect on the local community and hit petrol stations in the area.
Being forced to go further afield for petrol could be costly and time-consuming - this will be particularly difficult for youngsters who have taken out learner driver insurance and are forking out for lessons.
"Supplies across London and the South East could be affected, and I have been told this could impact the Olympics," Howitt told BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday.
Fuel consumption is expected to soar this summer when London hosts the Games.
Copyright Press Association 2012