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Break-up of Swiss Tamoil refinery begins

The refinery once processed 55,000 barrels of oil per day. Keystone / Martin Ruetschi

Work has started on dismantling the Tamoil refinery in southwestern Switzerland after efforts to find a new buyer came to nothing.

This content was published on August 13, 2021 - 11:41
swissinfo.ch/mga

The Collombey site, which once employed 238 people in the region processing 55,000 barrels of oil a day, announced it would close in 2015. Its closure left Switzerland with one remaining oil refinery, also in the French-speaking part of the country, but owned by a different company.

The Collombey refinery operated as part of the Dutch-based holding company, Oilinvest (Netherlands) BV, which in turn is owned by Libyan state corporations. The refinery has suffered significant financial losses in the years leading up to its closure.

Efforts to sell the site included an ambitious plan by a local entrepreneur to build a sustainable Winter Olympics village. As none of these ideas came to fruition the area will now be converted into a business park.

Dismantling the site will take until 2025. Tamoil Switzerland director Stéphane Trachsler says that 95% of the facilities will be recycled.

The cost of this work has not been made public, but the company has provided a CHF10 million ($10.8 million) financial guarantee to the local authorities, according to Swiss public broadcaster RTS.

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