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Yorktown refinery to shut doors

The Yorktown oil refinery—the source of many local jobs and fuel for 50 years—will close within the next couple of months, executives for parent Western Refinery, Inc., announced.

Gary Hanson, vice president of corporate communications for the El Paso, Texas-based company, said in a telephone interview earlier this week that closing the refinery will mean the loss of more than 200 employees. York County officials said about 100 contract workers also will lose their jobs at the refinery.

Western plans to keep its distribution terminal open at the Yorktown facility. In all, Western plans to retain 25-30 workers at Yorktown, Hanson said, most at the distribution facility and some to maintain the refinery in case the company later wants to reopen the facility—a process that could take up to nine months—or eventually to seek a buyer for the refinery.

Also, Hanson said there’s a chance that a small number of Yorktown refinery workers might be reassigned ...

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