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Fri 12 Jun 2020 02:05 PM

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Bahrain Petroleum Company to cut foreign worker numbers - reports

Company has been hit hard by negative refining margins and onset of Covid-19 pandemic

Bahrain Petroleum Company to cut foreign worker numbers - reports

Although no exact figures were given, reports suggest the number of job losses could run into the hundreds.

Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) has become the latest outfit in the region to announce a cut in foreign workers, according to local media reports.

A spokesperson told Akhbar Al Khaleej newspaper that it is the intention of the company to employ more Bahraini nationals, particularly with the refinery expansion project due for completion in 2022.

He is quoted as saying: “Job contracts of all employees, who will be made redundant, are close to expiring and some of the employees have reached retirement age and have high wages.”

Although no exact figures were given, reports suggest the number of job losses could run into the hundreds.

According to an internal circular, quoted by local media, the company has been hit particularly hard by the continuing negative refining margins. And, while this was showing signs of improvement, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has caused “huge financial losses” in the industry and posed “a huge challenge to all our operations”.

It went on: “We spend more than we earn, which requires the necessity of making difficult decisions to rationalise expenditures to ensure the continuity of Bapco in the future, and to enhance its substantive contributions to the kingdom.

“Unfortunately, despite our strenuous efforts, the decision to reduce our fixed costs to make them smaller and more efficient has become imperative and necessary. We feel very sorry that we have to send termination notices to many of our colleagues.”

Earlier this week, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiary companies announced that it was to stop recruiting expatriate workers throughout this year and 2021.

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