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Sabic Europe restructures

06 August 2008

Sabic Europe is to re-structure its Aromatics operations based in Teeside by the end of 2008 following a wide-ranging review of the long-term viability of the business. The plans involve closure of the Aromatics 2 unit at the Sabic UK Petrochemicals North Tees Site near Seal Sands and the Paraxylene plant at the Wilton Site near Redcar as well as an upgrade of the remaining Aromatics 1 plant at North Tees.

Paraxylene plant at the Wilton Site
Paraxylene plant at the Wilton Site

The units planned for closure have become uneconomic and have forced the company to face up to this difficult decision, said a company statement. The aim of the proposed way forward is to bring the total Sabic UK Petrochemicals site operational and commercial performance to a sustainable level. The plant closures will lead to a restructuring of Sabic Europe's Aromatics product portfolio.

A spokesman suggested that Sabic UK Petrochemicals remains fully committed to Teeside with its olefins cracker operations at Wilton and cyclohexane production at North Tees. A new world scale low density polyethylene plant is currently under construction and an upgrade to the Aromatics 1 plant is still on the cards.

The closures are expected to affect approximately 200 operational and support positions. The main impact of this will be felt on Teesside but there will also be some redundancies at Sabic Europe’s support functions in The Netherlands. A clearer idea of job numbers will be known once the full details of the restructuring plans are worked out.

It is currently envisaged that the proposed closures will take effect by end 2008.

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