Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) has become the latest in the region to announce a cut in the number of foreign workers.
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 issued yesterday to all staff by Bapco Chairman and Chief Executive Dr Dawood Nassif, 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: “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.”