Italian tankers seek deal for Russian refinery

Italian tankers seek deal for Russian refinery
Italian tankers seek deal for Russian refinery

ORTIGIA, Sicily (AP) — Thousands of workers at a Russian oil refinery in Sicily demonstrated on Friday against the threat of closure as Europe imposes a full embargo on Russian oil from next month.

The workers demanded action from Italy’s new economic development minister, Alfonso Urso, who was meeting with union leaders and others in Rome to find a solution for the refinery which employs 3,500 people and directly and indirectly supports another 6,500 jobs.

“The Russian ships will stop on December 5, given the embargo decided by the previous government,” said union spokesman Luciano Spataro in Sicily. “We hope that the new government will find a solution to avoid this catastrophe.

Urso told reporters in Rome that another meeting on the factory’s future would be held before mid-December.

About 20% of Italian oil is refined at the ISAB Srl plant, which is owned by Russia’s Lukoil. The factory and related activities generate half of the gross domestic product of the province of Syracuse in Sicily and 8% of the economic activity of the region,

The refinery has only been able to process oil from Russia since the invasion of Ukraine because the banks refused to take the risk of extending credit to buy non-Russian oil. The workers are demanding either the privatization of the refinery or that the government export credit agency SACE guarantee future loans to buy oil from non-Russian sources.

“As soon as you break a link, the whole chain collapses,” said union leader Vera Carasi. “So if Lukoil closes, we will have to close the whole group of petrochemical companies.”

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. oil tankers italian seek accord for a refinery russian

. Italian tankers seek deal Russian refinery

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