The Portuguese oil company decided to concentrate its refining operations and future developments in the Sines complex and discontinue refining in Matosinhos.
Portuguese oil company Galp shut down the last production unit of the Matosinhos refinery near Porto last Friday, following the decision to concentrate operations in Sines, the oil company’s board member, Carlos Silva, told Lusa.
Galp decided to concentrate its refining operations and future developments in the Sines complex and discontinue refining in Matosinhos.
In a statement sent to the market in December 2020, Galp said it would continue to supply the regional market while maintaining the operation of the main import, storage and shipping facilities existing in Matosinhos and that it was developing appropriate solutions for the necessary reduction of the workforce and assessing alternative uses for the complex.
The oil company’s chief executive said on Thursday that this was “a complex decision,” which was based on an assessment of the refining context at a European and world level, environmental and sustainability challenges, with a view to carbon neutrality, which led to “the worsening of fiscal and parafiscal conditions that are placed on the industry,” along with changes in consumption and mobility models.
“With all this and given the characteristics of the Matosinhos refinery, there was no possibility of continuing refining operations in Matosinhos, and as there was no environmental or economic rationale for this asset, the decision had to be taken,” he noted.
After deciding to close the refinery, Galp started individual talks with the 401 workers concerned, reaching an agreement with more than 40%.
“More than 100 will continue their activity, either in the Matosinhos logistics park, which will maintain its functions of supplying the fuel market in the north of the country, or via internal mobility to the areas of renewables, innovation, new businesses and also to the Sines refinery,” Carlos Silva said.
On the other hand, another 30% of the total workforce of the Matosinhos refinery will remain, at least until January 2024, as part of the dismantling and discontinuation operations.
According to the company, during this discontinuation process, if new business opportunities are identified in the context of the refinery’s future, these workers may be hired according to their qualifications and skills.
However, Galp said it had not found a solution for about 150 workers and will begin a collective dismissal process.