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EXCLUSIVE-Philadelphia refinery to seek closure after fire - sources

Jarrett Renshaw

PHILADELPHIA, June 25 (Reuters) - Philadelphia Energy Solutions is expected to seek to close its oil refinery in the city, the largest on the U.S. East Coast, after a massive fire caused substantial damage to the complex, two sources familiar with the plans said.

The refinery, which could still change its plans, is also expected to begin layoffs of the 700 union workers at the plant as early as Wednesday, the sources said. The layoffs could include about half of the union workforce, with the remaining staff staying at the site until the investigation into the blast concludes, the sources said.

A spokesperson for Philadelphia Energy Solutions on Tuesday night declined to comment on the potential closure and layoffs.

The 335,000 barrel-per-day complex, located in a densely populated area in the southern part of the city, erupted in flames in the early hours on Friday, in a series of explosions that could be heard miles away.

(Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw; editing by Christian Schmollinger)