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Tesoro still pursuing buyers for Kapolei refinery

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:29 p.m. HST, Apr 25, 2013

Tesoro Corp. is continuing to negotiate with potential buyers for its Kapolei refinery as it moves forward with previously-announced plans to close the facility next week, company officials said today.

The company, which announced the closure of the refinery in January, processed its last shipment of crude oil earlier this week. The company said it will begin laying off 210 workers of the plant’s 240 workers starting Wednesday in a process that is expected to take about two weeks.

A small group of employees will be kept on to help convert the refinery to an import terminal for refined products as Tesoro continues to seek a buyer for its Hawaii assets. The company also has begun mothballing the refining equipment in the event a buyer wants to restart refining operations.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said his office has been monitoring Tesoro’s efforts to sell the refinery.

“As talks between Tesoro and the potential buyers of their refinery in Hawaii continue, my office has been in regular contact with the parties, including the United Steel Workers Union and I am hopeful about the prospects for the refinery’s continued used,” Schatz said in a prepared statement.

“I am encouraging the discussions to continue and for us to stay focused on sustaining jobs for our people and on avoiding any future economic disruptions,” he said.

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