Trade group, government deny talk of rescue plan for Dow UK site

05 October 2009 19:39  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--There are no negotiations going on with any company to take over and rescue the Dow Chemical ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (EO/EG) site at Wilton, UK, a regional industry group and a government spokeswoman said on Monday.

Stan Higgins, CEO of the North East Process Industry Cluster and a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokeswoman were reacting to earlier reports that Texas-based Third Coast Chemicals is in talks to take over the facility.

The UK’s Sunday Times reported that government ministers were examining plans to inject around £50m ($79m, €54m) to overhaul the plant so that it could produce diethylene glycol (DEG) and triethylene glycol (TEG). Third Coast would take control of the plant.

Dow announced in July it was closing the facility.

Higgins said: “Third Coast were showing an interest in these businesses in May. But they were unable to put a coherent business plan together. Negotiations ended in May.”

He added: “Third Coast are absolutely out of it. They’re not interested. I’ve had phone calls from Third Coast in the last few weeks saying they’re not interested in these assets. There is no one else interested.”

Higgins said he was putting a plan together to try and sell the assets after they have closed in January, adding: “It would be remiss of us if we didn’t talk to people about whether there is a potential business we could put in there.”

A spokeswoman for the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “We’re not in any negotiations with Third Coast at the moment. I don’t believe we’re in negotiation with any other parties at present.”

She added that there is currently a review being undertaken by Regional Development Agency One North East “to see what investment would be needed for that plant to continue to be commercially active and what investment would be needed to change the end products it is producing. That’s going on at the moment. There isn’t anything else going on”.

The spokeswoman said money could be available for capital investment at the site if  “a demonstrable, viable business case” was put forward.

Third Coast vice president, Jim Thompson, declined to comment.

($1 = £0.63)
(€1 = £0.92)

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By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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