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24

Neste to shut down refinery in Finland, cuts 370 jobs

Neste to shut down refinery in Finland, cuts 370 jobs

Helsinki, November 30 - Neftegaz.RU. Finland´s state-owned oil company Neste announced today that that it will shut down its refinery in Naantali, Finland, by the end of March 2021. The firm has announced 370 job cuts as part of the restructuring, as opposed to its previous estimate of 470.

The company said it would offer pension and support packages to those whose employment was being terminated. Operations in Naantali now will focus on terminal and port operations, the company said after completing co-determination talks which began in September.

Neste said the coronavirus pandemic had accelerated the decline in demand for fossil petroleum products. With renewable energy consumption on the rise, Neste said it didn't expect the demand to return to pre-pandemic levels.

"Neste's story in Naantali had just started, so I understand that this news is difficult to receive. Over time, our Naantali staff has shown the ability to cooperate and innovate in many difficult situations, which we can be proud of. Now, however, we are in a situation where we have no options," Neste CEO Peter Vanacker said in a press release.

The oil firm said it will now focus on developing its Porvoo refinery for the processing of renewable and recycled raw materials. The personnel involved in the co-determination talks have publicly criticised the negotiations and said they believed that the outcome was predetermined.

"We are in agreement that we did not have enough information, time or even the opportunity to prepare alternative solutions. It would appear as if the outcome of the negotiations was predetermined," staff representatives stated in a joint bulletin.

Finland´s Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (Cen) and Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen (SDP) visited Naantali when the company announced layoff talks in September.

At that time, Prime Minister Marin reached out to Naantali mayor Jouni Mutanen to say the government would shoulder responsibility for a possible refinery closure and that it would support to the workers and local community.