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Government action required as snowballing decline of chemical sector continues

30 July 2009

Unite has stressed to the government the importance of securing the Wilton plant, the only UK plant still making ethylene oxide (EO) and as such pivotal to the continuation of the UK chemical industry. However, the site is facing run down as operators on the site close.

Government action required as snowballing decline of chemical sector continues
Government action required as snowballing decline of chemical sector continues

EO is a strategic raw material used by the chemical sector and is central to the production of everyday goods from antifreeze to soaps, paints to make up. The EO compound is hazardous to transport and its movement is regulated, which means that businesses purchasing the material cluster near the source plant. The impending closure of the Wilton plant therefore also puts those businesses dependent on it at serious risk of closure too.

Unite national officer for the chemical sector, Phil McNulty said: “We met with Lord Mandelson’s team to stress the importance of Wilton to the chemical sector and surrounding businesses. The situation is getting worse by the minute and we are starting to see a snowball affect within the chemical sector.

“Artenius has now gone into administration with a threat to 220 jobs and we feel the situation will get a lot worse. As a result of the closure at Wilton there could be a runaway reaction across the industry and it’s putting thousands of jobs at risk. The hammer blow to the economy of the north east of England must be averted. The government has been asked to bring the employers together to find a solution.”


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