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SABIC plans to close Aromatics & Paraxylene units
17
Jul '08
SABIC Europe announced plans to re-structure its Aromatics operations based on Teesside, UK 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. The plans also include an upgrade of the remaining Aromatics 1 plant at North Tees.

The economics of the units planned for closure have become unviable and have forced SABIC Europe to face up to this difficult decision.

The aim of the proposed way forward is to bring the total SABIC UK Petrochemicals site operational and commercial performance to a sustainable level.

Due to the closing of the plants, SABIC Europe will be restructuring its Aromatics product portfolio. David Hughes, Business Unit Director Aromatics & Oxygenates: "We recognize the impact of our actions on the European Market for our products.

We will be working with our customers and suppliers over the coming weeks and in order to allow these discussions to start, we make this announcement at this early stage."

"On Teesside, SABIC UK Petrochemicals remains fully committed to its Olefins Cracker operations at Wilton and Cyclohexane production at North Tees.

The current construction of the new world scale Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) plant and a possible upgrading of the Aromatics 1 plant are important factors in helping to underpin this." concludes Hughes. In addition, SABIC Europe continues to operate its ongoing Aromatics business in the Netherlands.

The proposed closure of the Aromatics 2 and Paraxylene units is expected to affect approximately 200 operational and support positions.

The main impact of this will be at the manufacturing facilities on Teesside, but the numbers also include some job reductions in 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.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)

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