French strike runs Swiss refinery out of fuel

A fuel refinery in Switzerland must temporarily close as a result of the strike in neighbouring France that has strangled supplies.

This content was published on October 27, 2010 - 08:54 and agencies

The petroleum group Petroplus said it had started to shut down its refinery in Cressier near Lake Neuchâtel after a labour strike at the French port in Fos Sur Mer had disrupted the flow of crude oil to the facility.

The Zug-based company said the restart of the refinery depended on how long the strike lasted, but that it was taking steps to make sure customers were receiving fuel.

On Tuesday, French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said work had begun again at five of the 12 refineries in France where workers had gone on strike to protest against retirement reforms. The French parliament is scheduled to adopt the reforms on Wednesday.

The Cressier refinery is one of two refineries in Switzerland and processes about 25 per cent of all refined petroleum products in the country by volume. Petroplus is the largest independent refiner and wholesaler of petroleum products in Europe, with six refineries across the continent.

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