Neste has concluded co-operation negotiations concerning the restructuring of its refinery operations in Finland – refining to end in Naantali, operations to be developed in Porvoo
Neste Corporation, Press Release, 30 November 2020 at 8.30 a.m. (EET)
In September, Neste announced that it was planning to restructure its refinery operations in Porvoo and Naantali, Finland, to ensure the competitiveness of the Oil Products business. The co-operation negotiations have been concluded, and as a consequence, the company has decided to shut down its refinery operations in Naantali by the end of March 2021. The company will focus the Naantali site on the terminal and harbor operations, as well as renew its Oil Products operating model. In the second phase of the transformation, the Porvoo refinery will be developed towards co-processing renewable and circular raw materials. These measures are expected to result in annual fixed cost savings of approximately EUR 50 million.
The demand for fossil oil products will continue to decline, and the share of renewable energy solutions will continue to grow in the coming years. The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially accelerated the decline in demand for oil products, which is not expected to recover to previous levels. Fundamental changes are therefore required to secure the competitiveness of Neste’s Oil Products business. With these measures, Neste aims to improve its productivity, resource efficiency and adaptiveness to market changes. The shutdown of the Naantali refining operations does not affect the security of the fuel distribution supply in Finland.
“We want to improve our competitiveness and maintain refining operations and related strategic capabilities in Finland. The changes will support the transformation of the Porvoo refinery into a leading sustainable, safe, and efficient refinery, enabled by our highly innovative and efficient Neste people. Neste’s story began in Naantali, so I understand that this news might be difficult to receive. Over the years, our Naantali people have shown tremendous cooperation and innovation skills in many difficult situations, and we can be proud of that. But now we are in a situation where we do not have any other options. We will support our people in adapting to this change in several ways,” says Neste’s President and CEO Peter Vanacker.
“I want to thank our employee representatives for the co-operation negotiations that were open and thorough. Together we looked at different solutions which improve competitiveness and examined the effects of the future transformation of the oil industry. However, during the negotiations, we did not find a solution which would have enabled continued and competitive refining operations in Naantali. As part of our transformation, we will also renew the Oil Products operating model. As a consequence, some of the jobs will cease to exist but completely new jobs will also be created. In the co-operation negotiations, we agreed on comprehensive change support measures which will help our personnel in adapting to the change,” says Hannele Jakosuo-Jansson, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, HSSEQ and Procurement at Neste.
The company estimated in its earlier announcement that the plans, if implemented, would mean up to 470 redundancies, including possible outsourcing. Together with the employee representatives, a solution was found that reduced the total number of redundancies from what was previously presented. The shutdown of the Naantali refining operations and the renewal of the Oil Products operating model will lead to approximately 370 redundancies.
In this transformation, Neste will primarily offer its personnel new jobs and related training as well as compensation for moving to a new location. For those whose employment will end, Neste offers retirement agreements and specific support packages, including also startup grants to support education or entrepreneurship. In addition, a change support program will be implemented with different measures which support finding new employment.
Operations in the terminal and harbor in Naantali will continue. To support the future economical activities of the area, Neste is cooperating with the authorities of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, City of Naantali as well as regional environmental agencies.
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Neste in brief
Neste (NESTE, Nasdaq Helsinki) creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. We refine waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. We are the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. We aim at helping customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with our renewable and circular solutions by at least 20 million tons annually by 2030. As a technologically advanced refiner of high-quality oil products with a commitment to reach carbon-neutral production by 2035, we are also introducing renewable and recycled raw materials such as waste plastic as refinery raw materials. We have consistently been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and the Global 100 list of the world’s most sustainable companies. In 2019, Neste's revenue stood at EUR 15.8 billion, with 82% of the company’s comparable operating profit coming from renewable products. Read more: neste.com