Motorists have been warned to expect record high diesel prices after the UK's largest independent oil refinery went into administration, putting around 1,000 jobs in jeopardy.
The Coryton refinery, in Essex, ceased supplies after its parent company, the Swiss-based oil refiner Petroplus, announced it was insolvent.
Administrators who took over the plant said on Tuesday that they hoped to resume deliveries following discussions with the facility's largest customer, BP, the former owner of the site. However, the AA and petrol retailers warned that the cost of diesel could reach a new high due to the disruption caused by the closure.
To make matters worse there are now fears of panic buying after long queues formed outside several petrol stations in the South East yesterday as diesel pumps started to run dry.
Most supermarkets have added 1p per litre on the price of diesel and unleaded.
Tesco said it had increased its fuel prices by 1p per litre on Monday – the second rise in a fortnight. It said the fuel rises were down to the increasing wholesale fuel costs and came before the shutdown at the Coryton refinery.
However data used by petrol retailers showed Sainsbury, Esso and BP have all raised their fuel prices by varying amounts this week.
On average across the UK, diesel rose to 142.32p (from 142.21p) per litre and is now within a fraction of a new record. Petrol rose to 134.03p per litre (from 133.89p), the AA reported.
And it looks like more hikes are in the pipeline, with petrol retailers and motoring groups warning: ‘The only way is up.’ After the closure of the Coryton refinery in Essex on Tuesday as their Swiss parent company Petroplus went into receivership.
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