BP To Exit From Two Manufacturing Plants At Hull
BP has announced a phased exit from its DF2 and DF3 acids and acetone manufacturing operations at Saltend, Hull, and with it a phased withdrawal from its formic acid, propionic acid and acetone businesses, leading to a reduction in its European acetic acid production capacity.
Production on the DF3 unit will cease at the end of April 2005 and on the DF2 unit late 2006/early 2007.
A total of approximately 190 job losses are expected. There are currently approximately 800 BP employees and 300 contract staff on the site.
Over the past 5 years BP has invested over £300m at Hull. All the remaining plants are of world-scale and utilise state of the art technology. The closure of the DF plants will improve the overall competitiveness of the Hull site, which will remain the second largest Acetyls manufacturing site in the world and the largest in Europe.
A BP spokesman stated a review of the business had made it clear that it was not viable to continue to operate these assets and the number of BP jobs at Hull will be reduced. BP will seek to limit the effects of this through voluntary early retirement and redeployment throughout the rest of the BP Group.
Murli Nathan, Performance Unit Leader for the European Acetyls business, confirmed that the decision to close is due to an increasing lack of competitiveness. He added, "high feedstock prices, which are linked to the oil price, coupled with the conversion costs on these assets mean that they are no longer economically viable to operate".
Gareth James continued "The DF plants have been an important part of the Hull site for more than 30 years. However, they utilise a previous generation process technology which cannot compete against latest generation methanol carbonylation acetic acid production technology. BP will continue to produce acetic acid, acetic anhydride, vinyl acetate and ethyl acetate at its Hull site."
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Saltend Site, Hull
Formic Acid, Propionic Acid and Acetone Businesses
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Added to site on 07/12/04