Welcoming reception for park's new visitor area
OVER the past five years it has enjoyed a staggering £500 million of investment and now provides direct employment for about 1,000 people.
Today, Saltend Chemicals Park is gearing up for the next chapter in its development as the site marks the opening of its new visitor reception area.
The area has been created as part of an extensive rebranding and upgrading of infrastructure and facilities across the site, designed to raise the park's profile and promote it to potential investors and new operators.
The Saltend site, which will celebrate its centenary in 2014, currently has 320 acres of land in use and is now home to eight thriving businesses, including BP Acetyls, Ineos and Nippon Goshei, Saltend Chemicals Park.
However, technological changes have enabled the decommissioning of redundant plants and facilities, meaning a further 50 acres are now available for new "brownfield" developments.
Dr Chris Bowlas, manager at the park, said: "The site has good potential for growth, building upon the Humber region's strong position in the chemicals industry and also the rapidly emerging renewable energy sector.
"We have many advantages for investors, including potential for infrastructure expansion, and an excellent location for feedstock and product transportation, via sea and road."
The Saltend site was born in 1914 when a jetty was opened by the then Asiatic Petroleum company, now Shell, and the Anglo Mexican Company (Shell Mex).
BP has operated at the site since 1967, when it bought the site distilleries, prompting Saltend's expansion to a world-scale commodity chemicals manufacture.
Saltend Chemicals Park was founded in 2009 to manage the site and offer a mature and extensive infrastructure to support and service operations.
Each year, more than a million tonnes of chemical products are manufactured there, providing key raw materials for a range of everyday items, from clothing and cosmetics to packaging, inks and fertilisers.
Those not used on the site are then transported to the UK market, or exported to Europe.
Other companies housed there include Air Products plc, Vivergo and Yara, and the businesses now share infrastructure, facilities and utilities, making it one of only two chemical parks of its kind in the UK.
Dr Bowlas said this enabled businesses to be inter-dependent and operate to mutual benefit at a "world-scale manufacturing site contributing hundreds of millions of pounds to UK plc's GDP."
He said: "The idea is to make it more cost-effective for everybody – to bundle together our demand for services such as maintenance, facilities management and utilities. It makes us more powerful as a whole rather than different companies operating independently."
The recent £500 million includes the £350 million Vivergo Fuels plant and BP's £40 million in a replacement "reformer" facility.
Today's opening of the new reception area marks the culmination of a further £500,000 investment.
Diana Taylor, business development manager at the park, said: "The rebranding and upgrading is about making this site a slick, professional operation and becoming the location of choice for investors.
"It also puts the UK as a whole on the map for chemicals parks, enabling us to compete with those located in the rest of Europe."
Serdar Tufekci, manager for Saltend power station, which is owned by International Power, said the site's set-up enabled businesses to be greener and more efficient through the sharing of products and resources
"It is a very successful industrial cluster around a number of chemical operators and processes that complement each other," said Mr Tufekci.
"We also share our experiences and best practices, so it definitely helps to be in a non-competing and collaborative environment."