UK: Plant Operations Ineos May Close Down Acrylonitrile Facility at Seal Sands
Ineos has invested a significant amount over the past decade for the smooth functioning of the acrylonitrile manufacturing unit at Teesside, UK. However, the facility still requires huge capital to stay viable.
UK – Ineos has recently announced its intention to consult with employees on the proposed closure of the acrylonitrile manufacturing plant at Seal Sands on Teesside, UK.
The site which employs 224 people has been in Ineos ownership since 2008. In the event of the plant closing, not all of these positions will be at risk of redundancy due to the continuation of other activities at Seal Sands.
Over the past 10 years, the company has invested almost 220 million dollars in the site in order to try and counter decades of significant under investment. Despite the firm’s best efforts and the fact that every penny of profit has been ploughed back into the site to reverse this situation, the company is of the view that nothing more can be done to ensure that operations are both safe and economically viable.
It would require another 220 million dollars just to meet Ineos’ standards and environmental regulations. The company intends to consult on any viable alternatives to closure.
The acrylonitrile process needs careful management and involves handling significant quantities of hazardous materials. The company feels that it would not be possible to guarantee the long-term safety of its employees or its neighbours through continued operation of the plant and have thus reluctantly concluded that it should consider the option to close.
Paul Overment, CEO of Ineos Nitriles said, “After considering many options, we feel that we must now consult with employees on the potential closure of the plant. We do so with a heavy heart but there is no escaping the fact that decades of under investment on the site have led us to this point. Manufacturing assets need constant renewal if they are to survive. The last 10 years have proven that it is almost impossible to play catch-up and the lesson for us and other UK manufacturers is that constant reinvestment is vital for long term prosperity.”