The Sunday Times reported yesterday that US producer Third Coast Chemicals is in talks to take over the Dow ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol facility at Wilton.
This would be excellent news for Wilton and the UK chemical industry in general.
The Dow plant was the UK’s only producer of EO/EG and it is dangerous to transport. The question now is: will Croda now reverse its decision to close the downstream ethoxylates and surfactants plants. It decided to close these in the wake of the Dow closure.
The Times article sated “Ministers are to examine plans to inject tens of millions of pounds into an American-led project to revitalise the chemicals industry in the northeast and save thousands of jobs.
It would see Texas-based Third Coast Chemicals take control of a key plant at the former ICI chemicals complex at Wilton, Teesside. State agencies would provide most of the £50m funding in what is regarded as the first leg of a strategic review by the government of the chemicals industry.
Senior industry sources told The Sunday Times this weekend that the government was in the early stages of formulating an assistance programme to the beleaguered £60 billion-a-year industry. It employs more than 200,000 workers and has been among the worst affected by the recession.
The Department for Business denied that the government had launched a strategic review but it is understood that a team within the Shareholder Executive has begun working on a strategy and has made Wilton a top priority.”