Administrators to an oil refinery which went bust have received over 40 expressions of interest from companies around the world, the Government announced today.
The news was described as "very encouraging" as efforts continue to secure the future of the Coryton site in Essex.
Administrators PwC announced earlier this week that it had acquired a cargo of oil which will allow refining work to continue, providing a "breathing space" for the refinery.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry today chaired a meeting of politicians, business officials and unions to discuss the future of the refinery.
The minister said: "We have had another positive meeting at which the joint administrators updated those present on what they have achieved so far and their planned next steps.
"I welcome the progress that the administrators have made. The deal that allowed petrol and diesel to be delivered to forecourts from the refinery was a crucial boost, while the crude oil delivery acquired on Tuesday was important to maintaining refining operations.
"The collaborative approach taken by the workforce and the refinery's management has also been vital in making these things happen.
"There are critical issues to be resolved in the coming weeks. For the long term, I understand there have been over 40 expressions of interest in Coryton from companies around the world, which is extremely encouraging. Work will now focus on securing a sustainable long-term future for the refinery."
The site, which supplies 20% of fuel in London and the South East, halted sales after its Swiss owner, Petroplus, placed the refinery in administration, prompting fears of up to 1,000 job losses.
Unite national officer Linda McCulloch said after the meeting: "The situation at Coryton refinery is fluid but we remain cautiously optimistic about finding a buyer.
"Unite remains in constant contact with the administrators and the Government and the union will continue to assist in every way possible to find a buyer for the refinery."