An oil refinery that went bust has seen its immediate future secured under a deal that will provide it with work for the next three months.
The Coryton plant in Essex, which supplies 20% of fuel in London and the South East, was recently plunged into administration by its Swiss owner Petroplus, prompting fears of up to 1,000 job losses.
However a consortium of financiers has now reached an agreement with administrators PwC that will see them pay to refine oil at the plant for the next three months.
Normally, Coryton would own the oil it refines but this temporary deal will see the plant's services effectively hired out by the consortium, who will supply their own oil.
The deal, involving Morgan Stanley bank and private equity firms KKR Asset Management and AtlasInvest, will allow work to continue and give administrators extra time to look for a buyer or seek a refinancing.
It comes after administrators earlier this month acquired a cargo of oil to keep work going and buy the stricken plant some breathing space.
PwC was recently reported to have received more than 40 expressions of interest for the plant from companies around the world and is still in discussions with potential buyers.
Joint administrator at PwC, Steven Pearson, said: "I am delighted to have reached this arrangement. It is the culmination of constructive negotiations over many days and it creates vital stability at the refinery whilst we find a restructuring solution."
Unite national officer Linda McCulloch said the deal was a welcome development which eases the pressure on the workers.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry added that it represented excellent progress for the refinery and was an outstanding example of the whole local community working together.