Trade group concerned about shut Grangemouth's downstream customers

21 October 2013 22:42  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Chemical production facilities reliant on the closed Grangemouth petrochemical facility for feedstocks are being closely scrutinised, according to the trade group representing the UK chemical industry.

As the future of the Grangemouth oil refinery and petrochemicals site hangs in the balance, the UK's Chemical Industries Association is examining the potential impact on the downstream supply chain, the group’s employment and communications director, Simon Marsh, said on Monday.

"We're looking extremely closely at the Grangemouth supply chain, which involves a huge number of companies," he said at a dinner for journalists in London.

The Grangemouth site in Scotland has been closed since last week when negotiations over the treatment of a union representative broke down. Owners INEOS claim the site loses millions of pounds per month so it needs to impose new salary and pension conditions, as well as obtain government support for an ethane import terminal, to remain competitive.

INEOS has put a proposal to union workers, who rejected the plan on Monday. The company plans to meet on Tuesday to discuss the site's future.

Marsh urged workers at the site to accept the package offered by INEOS and praised chairman Jim Ratcliffe for his involvement in the dispute.

"We want the workforce to accept what's on offer,” he said. “The survival plan is the only way to guarantee sustainable jobs."

Marsh said Ratcliffe had travelled to Grangemouth and played an active part in resolving the dispute.

"Many chairmen would have stayed away from the site - that's deserving of credit,” he said.

Marsh also stressed the importance of the Unite union - at the centre of the dispute - to the UK chemicals industry, saying: "INEOS is critical to the UK chemicals industry as is Unite. … We work with the union at a national [and international] level."

By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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