A new emulsion polymer production plant has come online in Billingham, after a £100m investment to prepare the former ICI chemical site for its first phase of manufacturing.
Polyacrylamide specialist SNF Oil & Gas has spent more than seven years redeveloping the 60-acre site in a project that has secured more than 100 jobs to date.
This first phase of construction has centred on the redevelopment of two thirds of the brownfield site.
The first of three lines in the main production building is now operational with future lines set to focus on products for application in the North Sea.
A production facility for bio-acrylamide – the main building block in every SNF polymer – will also be online by the end of 2018.
SNF’s laboratory, control room, warehouse, gatehouse, tanker bays and office facilities have already been completed.
As a subsidiary of French-headquartered SNF Group – the world leader in polyacrylamide technology – SNF is an established player in the chemicals industry. But the new site marks the team’s first venture into UK-based manufacturing.
“Billingham represents a significant expansion to SNF’s production capabilities in Europe and signifies a key strategic decision to support our growth plans,” said SNF’s operations director Andy Helliwell.
A UK manufacturing presence provides greater supply chain security, shorter lead times, cost savings and reduced carbon footprint benefits to our clients in this country.
“Given the high propensity of talented labour in the local area, and Teesside’s rich chemical heritage, the development of this site made perfect business sense. We’re looking forward to cementing our manufacturing presence here,” added Helliwell.
The project was aided greatly by the support of Stockton Council and the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
As a group, SNF has more than 300,000 clients in 130 countries worldwide. With six primary factories and a further 23 industrial sites, the company has dual manufacturing capabilities on each of its operational continents and employs more than 5,000 people.