The controversial ATPC refinery in the south of the port of Antwerp is closing. It was announced on Thursday. More than a quarter of employees are at risk of being fired. But we do not agree. There are still many open questions, says ABVV Secretary Levi Sully.
Antwerp Terminal & Processing Company (ATPC) provides warehousing as well as refining activities in Beliweg, between Vierde and Fifth Havendok in the south of the port. Gazette van Antwerpen has learned that recent activity has now stopped, and the trade union has confirmed the news.
“Yesterday we received an announcement in a private business council that the company intends to cut 30 jobs by closing the refinery,” Sully said. There will be 18 operational people and 12 employees. We do not agree at all. There are still many questions.
import and storage
They say the agreement with parent company VITTOL, one of the world’s largest oil traders, has expired, and they haven’t found any more customers. They want to stop the refinery as well as turn the organization into a bitumen import terminal, because this product will continue to be needed.
In fact, ATPC had only one customer, who refines crude oil and turns it into bitumen, a product used, among other things, for road construction. At the same time, the company has come to the attention of governments several times in recent years due to bad odors and oil pollution. The company was already under strict inspection supervision and also imposed an action plan from the Flemish Environmental Department.
“There are difficulties with the company,” Sully admits. There was an irritating component to the smell, but this is also related to the crude oil supplied by the parent company, which tested the composition. If you supply more selectively, it is easier to improve. A company insider is already talking about “strange crude oil”.
So the fact that VITTOL is now out of business as a client is actually their own issue. Now people are saying that no other client has been found, but of course there must be a desire to search. “We think there are still opportunities,” Soleil told the Belga news agency.
It also reports that 18 jobs in the production unit and 12 in support services are at risk. ABVV says it has not yet given in to the intent of mass separation. The union wants to enter into talks within the framework of the Renault law, according to Belga.
The company was not immediately available for comment on Friday afternoon.
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