Opponents of Philadelphia refinery sale vow legal fight

A June 2019 fire at the 335,000bpd refinery led the company to file for bankruptcy

A June 2019 fire at the 335,000bpd Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery led the company to file for bankruptcy.
A June 2019 fire at the 335,000bpd Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery led the company to file for bankruptcy.

Opponents of Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ bankruptcy plan have vowed a legal fight if a federal court approves a sale that would keep the largest East Coast oil refinery permanently shut while paying out bonuses to company executives.

A June fire at the 335,000 bpd PES refinery led the company to file for bankruptcy and shut the plant over the summer, laying off more than 1,000 workers and ending long-standing ties with dozens of businesses, reported Hydrocarbon Processing magazine.

The PES plan to exit bankruptcy includes a $240 million sale of the refinery to a real estate developer, Hilco Redevelopment Partners. The US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware is scheduled to consider the plan.

Former contractors and worker unions, who are among the list of unsecured creditors, want the refinery to re-open.

The unsecured creditors “may never receive a penny and executives who oversaw the disaster walk away from the cases filthy rich,” the group said in filings.

PES said: “No credible bidder has emerged with the intention to resume plant operations”. Market conditions and damage from the fire also worked against resurrecting the refinery, PES attorneys claimed.

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