A U.S. bankruptcy judge permitted a process for the sale of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery, the biggest and oldest on East Coast, under which city delegates and a trade alliance will consult on the subject.
The plan resolves earlier problems by giving the United Steelworkers association, and Philadelphia city delegates access to the identities of bidders and, in some cases, the ability to speak with potential buyers, in response to the order signed by Judge Kevin Gross of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Auction date for the PES refinery was set for Jan. 17 in New York.
PES went out of business on July 21 and put its 335,000 barrel-per-day refinery up on the market after a fire tore through an alkylation section at the Girard Point section of the plant a month prior. Most of the 1,100 PES employees, along with over 600 members of the United Steelworkers’ local association, had been laid off without severance or benefits.
About a dozen parties have proven curiosity in buying the plant, pitching numerous uses for the power, along with a biofuels process and restoring the oil refinery to its full potential.
The city, community activists, and employees advocates have called for more transparency in the sale process of the fire-broken plant, which might require city-issued zoning and different licenses for approval.
Gross on Thursday further signed off on an additional $35 million in debtor-in-possession financing for PES, giving the refiner more time to pay legal charges and different payments as it fights for insurance protection linked to the fire.
PES has already acquired $65 million in bankruptcy financing and a $50 million advance on future insurance proceeds. Nevertheless, it has been unable to receive any of the $1.25 billion in property damage and business interruption insurance claims.