IT is not known exactly when the Grangemouth oil refinery will close, MSPs have heard.

Last month, bosses at Petroineos - the company which owns Scotland’s only refinery – announced that the refinery would close and instead become an import and distribution hub.

Hundreds of jobs are at risk with the closure of the refinery initially expected to occur in spring 2025. However, appearing in front of Holyrood’s Economy Committee on Wednesday, Iain Hardie, head of external affairs at Petroineos, said there was no exact date for when the refinery would close.

He stated that the company’s announcement was for the start of the transition rather than the closure of the refinery, adding: “We don’t know when this will be”.

He confirmed that of the refinery’s 500 current jobs, only around 100 would be retained when it becomes an import terminal.

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Other parts of the wider complex at Grangemouth – such as the Forties pipeline system which brings in North Sea oil and gas – will continue, he said.

Grangemouth is “one of the oldest (refineries) in Europe and highly inefficient”, he said.

Hardie added that domestic demand for fuels is falling away due to increased use of electric vehicles and hybrids.

The sharp increase in oil and gas prices due to the war in Ukraine has not changed the fundamental outlook for the facility, he said.

Over the last decade, the refinery had incurred losses of more than 1 billion US dollars (£800 million), the committee was told.

Committee convener Claire Baker expressed surprise at how quickly the closure had been announced, saying she and her fellow MSPs had visited the site earlier this year.

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Baker said: “From the outside, this doesn’t look like a just transition for Grangemouth.”

Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray spoke to the committee later on Wednesday morning.

He said a just transition plan for Grangemouth would be published by spring next year.

The GMB trade union has said news of the plant’s closure is “deeply worrying”.

It comes as the advisory body for a just transition in Scotland warned “significant” further action is needed to reach a low-carbon economy

In its annual report published on Wednesday, the Just Transition Commission said more support should be provided for workers facing job losses in Grangemouth and offshore as Scotland moves away from fossil fuels.