WORKERS made redundant and local businesses which supplied Coryton are now counting the cost of the closure.

The specialist nature of the work at Coryton meant workers had concerns about what they could do next, with some toying with the idea of looking for work abroad.

Petroplus set up a jobs fair at the Pegasus Club, in Corringham, inviting large companies, such as INEOS, which owns Grange-mouth refinery, Scotland.

Jon Barden, the Coryton refinery general manager, said the fair was very successful in placing numerous workers in jobs.

But Russell Jackson, 55, of Lampits Hill, Corringham, who was made redundant in July, has struggled to find work.

He was a process controller at Coryton and worked there for 29 years. He said: “I’m doing nothing at the moment.

“I had been doing a bit of training with the job centre to be a lorry driver, but the problem for me is I’m not in a position to move away.

“I know a lot of the workers have had luck in getting jobs on rigs, but I have a family, three children, and I can’t move away.

“The problem is, most of the jobs in this area are in logistics. “I’ve been putting a lot of applications in and may have something at the Port of Tilbury working in safety, but that’s not certain.”

Simon Foakes, 45, said the refinery’s closure was a “huge blow” to the local economy.

Mr Foakes has been supplying the refinery for the past 25 years with equipment from various firms he’s run and for the past 12 years from London Tools and Welding Equipment, also based in The Manorway.

The firm moved to the area because of its close relationship with Coryton and has supplied workers with specialist tools, personal protective equipment and worked on health and safety projects at the plant.

Mr Foakes said it was sad to see Coryton go, but is optimistic the construction of the DP World superport will throw up more opportunities.

Mr Foakes, from Basildon , said: “It was a huge shock when we heard about Coryton, but as a business, we’ve had knocks like this before and you have to get up and move on.

“It’s a huge blow for us. I went in there a few days ago and it was eerie and quiet.

“But the port’s come at the right time. It’s amazing what they’re building there. We’ve just got to hope it supports local business and the community like Coryton has. “We’re already trying to speak to people there and we’ve already had some business from them.”