Following the staff vote on Monday, Ineos shareholders met yesterday to consider the future of the business. The shareholders reached the conclusion that they could not see a future for Grangemouth, which is currently losing over £10 million per month, and therefore could no longer continue to fund the business.
“This is a hugely sad day for everyone at Grangemouth,” said Grangemouth Petrochemicals chairman Calum MacLean.
“We have tried our hardest to convince employees of the need for change but unsuccessfully. There was only ever going to be one outcome to this story if nothing changed and we continued to lose money.”
As a result of this decision, Ineos’ directors of the petrochemicals business have engaged the services of a liquidator. It is expected that the liquidation process will begin within a week.
Management wish to restart full operations as soon as possible
Energy secretary Ed Davey
Ineos’ Grangemouth site comprises a petrochemical complex, which is the world’s largest producer of synthetic ethanol products, and a refinery supplying motor fuels across the UK.
The firm clarified today that it was the petrochemical complex, not the refinery, that was responsible for the huge losses.
Petroineos, the company responsible for the Grangemouth refinery will now take a decision on if and when to restart the refinery. It claims that this will be primarily dependent on the removal of the threat of further industrial action, after the threat of a 48-hour strike caused Ineos to shut down both the refinery and petrochemical complex on safety grounds last week.
Energy and Climate Change secretary Ed Davey said he hoped the refinery would return to operations as soon as possible.
“Ineos have informed us that the refinery will stay open and the management wish to restart full operations as soon as possible,” said Davey.
“We stand ready to help with discussions between the management and the union to ensure this can happen.”
Chemical Industries Association chief executive Steve Elliott said the news of the petrochemical plant closure made it a “sad day for Grangemouth, for Ineos, for its workforce and for the economy of Scotland”.
“We hoped the company Survival Plan would be accepted by the workforce as it offered long-term sustainability,” he added.
“The best way of guaranteeing jobs is commercial viability. Ineos offered a route to that for Grangemouth and I am sorry the workforce could not agree to that in sufficient numbers.”