INEOS Enterprises announces the closure of its Vinyl Acetate Monomer Unit at Saltend, Hull

Low cost imports and a hostile trading Environment made closure inevitable. 

INEOS Enterprises CEO thanks employees for their "determination and professionalism."

He says, "This is a very sad day for Saltend. Everyone has worked hard to resolve this issue without success. We will do all we can to help those affected by this.”

Today INEOS Enterprises is announcing the closure of its Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) facility at Saltend in Hull with a loss of 18 jobs.

This announcement does not affect the INEOS Ethyl Acetate plant at the same site which will remain in production.

INEOS acquired the VAM facility in 2008 and has committed over £40 million trying to make it competitive in world markets.

Both management and employees have done everything they can to make the business sustainable but without success.

Ashley Reed, CEO INEOS Enterprises, says. “I would like to thank all the VAM employees for their determination and professionalism in trying to make the VAM business sustainable. Unfortunately, low cost imports and a hostile trading environment have left us no choice but to close the plant”.

The VAM market has become increasingly targeted by cheap imports mainly from Saudi Arabia and the USA, both of whom benefit from low cost raw materials. The VAM plant in Hull gets one of its main raw materials, ethylene, down a pipeline from Grangemouth in Scotland. Despite this integration, Grangemouth site has not been able to provide products at a low enough cost to enable the Saltend site to match its competitors prices.

Ashley Reed adds, “This is a very sad day at Saltend. Everyone has worked hard to resolve this issue without success. Regrettably, our cost per tonne remains significantly higher than the international competition and as a consequence we have lost a number of important contracts. We will do all we can to help those affected by this announcement.”


Note to editors: 

INEOS Enterprises acquired the Vinyl Acetate Monomer plant from BP in April 2008. The unit  was built in 2002 and was the first plant capable of producing 300kt/yr in a single train reactor. It was the world’s only world-scale fluidised bed vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant. 

The plant was integrated into all its raw materials through onsite acetic acid, oxygen and steam production, at Saltend and a pipeline linked into INEOS’ UK ethylene system fed from the Grangemouth facility in Scotland.

From Saltend INEOS Enterprises supplied VAM to its European customers through pipeline, road and ship. VAM is used in a variety of industrial processes for applications including: Paints, Furniture and flooring adhesives, Textiles, Clothing and footwear, Paper coatings, Packaging, Safety glass for cars and buildings. 

INEOS Enterprises is a portfolio of ten businesses manufacturing chemical products in Northern Europe, with sales of these products to customers around the world. The Company is focused on the developing needs of customers and rapid growth through investment in new products and manufacturing facilities or by acquisition. INEOS Enterprises now employs some 800 people across sites in the UK, France, Germany.

Richard Longden
Group Communications Manager
Tel.: +41 21 627 7063 

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