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BP Chemicals Announce Baglan Bay Closure

BP LogoBP Chemicals has announced the closure of the last manufacturing plant at its Baglan Bay site in Port Talbot, South Wales.

Production of Isopropanol is scheduled to cease on 31st March 2004 and will mark the end of over 40 years of petrochemicals manufacturing at the site. The closure will result in approximately 55 BP job losses at the Baglan Bay site by the end of 2004.

Making the announcement, BP's Works General Manager, Gareth James, said, "It is with great regret that I have to announce the closure of our single remaining plant at Baglan Bay. Over recent years my staff have worked exceptionally hard to make this operation profitable but its small scale and the lack of feedstock or product integration has ultimately made this impossible. A review of our business strategy has made it clear that it is not viable to continue operations at Baglan."

Business Manager for Isopropanol, Wayne Zakers, confirmed that the decision to close is based on the poor competitiveness of the business. He added, "Steps are being taken to safeguard supply to BP's Isopropanol customers, and this is progressing well. Following this announcement, BP will be contacting its customers to discuss options for continuity and we are confident that this will be well-received."

Gareth James continued "I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the staff at Baglan Bay for their tremendous innovation, flexibility and team work. This closure will mean that a number of them will have to seek alternative employment but they are a highly skilled workforce and I am confident that those who are mobile will find work at other BP locations. In addition we anticipate that a proportion will take early retirement. For those who need to seek work outside BP, we will be providing a comprehensive career guidance facility and providing help to retrain and re-skill each individual."

Gareth James concluded "We believe that the best way of reducing the impact of our closure on the local economy is to support the creation of new jobs that will lead to a more prosperous community in the long term. BP Chemicals has always been proud of the manner in which it has contributed to the local economy and to local community initiatives. Over the past 12 years we have invested several million pounds in such activities and have helped to create over 700 new jobs in the Baglan travel to work area."

BP, in partnership with the Welsh Development Agency and Neath Port Talbot Local Authority has also been instrumental in attracting significant investment and employment to the Baglan Energy Park. I am pleased to report that we have underpinned the long term future of the Baglan Energy Park by agreeing with GE Energy that, through their Baglan Operations Ltd subsidiary, they will take on BP's commitments to provide cost advantaged energy supplies."

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Added to site on 17/02/04


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