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Italy to safeguard jobs in Lukoil refinery sale

FILE PHOTO: Italy works to keep Lukoil refinery going as sale talks drag on

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government will ensure that jobs are protected and environmental standards maintained in the sale of a Sicilian refinery owned by Russia Lukoil, Industry Minister Adolfo Urso said on Wednesday.

Urso was commenting after a meeting the previous day with G.O.I. Energy, the Cypriot private equity firm that heads the group that agreed last week to purchase the business. It is backed in the deal by trading house Trafigura.

The ISAB plant in Sicily refines 320,000 barrels per day of crude, accounting for a fifth of Italy's refining capacity, and directly employs about 1,000 people in an economically depressed area in the country's southernmost region.

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Writing by Keith Weir, editing by Gianluca Semeraro)