Marsden Point in Whangarei is looking at closing its refining operation and becoming a terminal for imported oil only.

Refining NZ has been granted a 35-year resource consent to keep operating both its refinery and import terminal operations at its Marsden Point site in Northland.

The refining company said the consent underlined its “long-term commitment to the site, and the wider Northland region,” even as it investigates closing the refining operation and becoming a terminal for oil imports only.

First Union has expressed fears that if the plant were to stop refining, it could cost up to 1,000 staff and contractor jobs and over 2,000 more in the wider sector.

Chief executive Naomi James said she was pleased that the “significant role’’ she believed the company still played in the country’s fuel supply would remain at Marsden Point.

It had many advantages, she added: “Marsden Point is the home of Refining NZ and a strategic site with natural deep-water harbour, established marine facility, electricity and gas connections and proximity to a large population base.”

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6th April 2021