A CAMPAIGN to save the Grangemouth oil refinery will be launched this weekend by the Alba Party.

It was announced in November that Scotland’s only oil refinery, located just outside Falkirk, would close in 2025 with owners Petroineos blaming shrinking profit margins.

Petroineos announced it would be turned into an import terminal from spring 2025, with hundreds of jobs still thought to be at risk.

The National: Kenny MacAskill

Alba depute leader Kenny MacAskill (above) will launch the campaign tomorrow to save the “strategic asset” in Grangemouth as part of a day of action.

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MP MacAskill has been leading efforts at Westminster to demand intervention to save the refinery.

He led a debate on the closure in the Commons last month calling on the UK Government to intervene to prevent the site from closing as he said this would leave Scotland as one of just a handful of oil-producing countries without a refinery within its borders.

MacAskill will be joined by Alba Party leader Alex Salmond and chair Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh as well as party activists who aim to distribute 20,000 leaflets on the day.

“When it comes to saving Grangemouth oil refinery as a national asset for the whole country, as well as energy security for the future, there is no bigger challenge facing Scotland right now,” MacAskill said.

“Grangemouth is already profitable but by making the required investment as called for by the workers and Unite, that profitability would be increased threefold and the future of the refinery would be secured beyond 2025.

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“This action will save the refinery, the 500 direct jobs and 2000 contractors jobs that depend on it. 

“The Alba Party will stand with workers and ensure that Grangemouth does not go down without a fight and we will pressure both the Scottish and UK governments to now get off the fence and back the workers wholeheartedly in their fight to save their jobs, their communities and the industrial future of Scotland. 

“Anything less would be a betrayal of these workers and of Scotland."

MacAskill has previously said the loss of the refinery would “decimate” the economy of Scotland’s central belt.

The fate of the refinery was sealed last month after ministers agreed to support its "transition" following a crunch meeting.

Speaking after a meeting involving Petroineos, Unite and both Scottish and UK government ministers, then-energy secretary Neil Gray said all present had agreed to support Grangemouth workers as the refinery wound down operations.