Chemical firm Ineos is to consulting with employees on the proposed closure of its Seal Sands acrylonitrile (ACN) manufacturing plant at Teesside, UK. Ineos acquired the site, which currently employs 224 people, from Germany-based chemical firm BASF in 2008.
In the event the plant closes, not all these positions will be at risk of redundancy due to the continuation of other activities at Seal Sands, said the firm.
Ineos has invested almost EUR200 million in the site over the past ten years and says it would need to invest another EUR200 million just to meet its standards and environmental regulations. Ineos intends to consult on any viable alternatives to closure.
The production process needs careful management and involves handling significant quantities of hazardous material, and the company says it would not be able to guarantee the long-term safety of its employees or the residents nearby and has “reluctantly” concluded that it should consider the option to close.
The ACN plant is currently under turnaround and maintenance, and repair work will continue through the consultation process.
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.”