Finnish oil giant Neste to close refinery, cut 470 jobs

Finnish oil products giant Neste plans to cut 470 jobs by closing its refinery in Naantali, southwestern Finland, the company said on Monday. As required by Finnish law, statutory cooperation talks with the staff will start later. Peter Vanacker, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Neste, said in a press release on Monday that the demand for fossil oil products is diminishing and the share of renewable energy sources in consumer choices is projected to increase in the years ahead. “The change in the energy sector is taking place faster than expected,” noted Vanacker. Vanacker said Neste’s refinery in Porvoo, southern Finland, will be developed towards processing renewables and recycling materials. The Finnish state holds majority ownership in Neste Oyj, which has operations in 15 countries and employs about 5,000 people worldwide, 4,000 of them in Finland. It is one of the largest producers of renewable diesel in the world. This year, Neste has suffered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s turnover in the second quarter (Q2) declined to 2,573 million euros (3,058 million U.S. dollars) from 4,057 million euros in the corresponding period of 2019. Its Q2 profit in 2020 was 255 million euros, down from 367 million euros in 2019.