Mystery of Third Coast Chemicals’ Wilton rescue plan

On Sunday ICIS reported that US-based Third Coast Chemicals was negotiating a takeover of the Dow Chemical ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (EO/EG) site at Wilton, UK, scheduled for closure in January 2010.

We’d got confirmation of a Sunday Times report from Martin Staley, EMEA vice president for Third Coast who told ICIS: “We’re working with the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) to see if there’s an opportunity that the plant can be saved.” The company had previously worked on a takeover plan which had stalled in May this year.

However NEPIC CEO Stan Higgins later told ICIS that no negotiations were going on with Third Coast or anyone else. A spokeswoman for the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills added: “We’re not in any negotiations with Third Coast at the moment. I don’t believe we’re in negotiation with any other parties.”

Higgins was very upset about the Sunday Times report, claiming it gave false hopes to workers at the plant.

Now a source from the EPCA meeting in Berlin insists negotiations are going ahead with Third Coast. Could Dow and Third Coast be secretly negotiating without the knowledge of Stan Higgins at NEPIC and the DBIS? The plot thickens……

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