Essar, Shell close to closing Stanlow deal

As talks with unions at Shell's Stanlow refinery progress, Essar Energy and Royal Dutch Shell will soon ink an agreement that would see the Indian group take control of the refinery near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK.

According to an unnamed source cited by Business Standard newspaper, Essar Energy and Shell would sign the final agreement at Stanlow tomorrow, two days ahead of the deadline.

Though the $350-million deal is still in an employee consultation phase, it may be signed since the union's approval was not mandatory for the deal to stand the test of law. 

Essar and Shell have been engaged in a dialogue with unions since March, to smoothen out differences that include pension and other issues relating to pay scales for new recruits at the plant.

The plant has a workforce of 960 which Essar plans to retain after taking over the plant.

With the completion of the second round of consultation with the union in the second week of March, Essar Energy and the workers had sorted out the difference on the pension plans applicable to the workers in the plant.