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Grangemouth next step: plant to stay open

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Following a new deal struck with workers, staff at the Grangemouth facility were told this morning that the decision to close the site had been reversed. The plant and the neighbouring refinery are going to be opened with immediate effect after a dramatic turn in negotiations with Unite. The union have agreed to no more strike action for the next three years, as well as an altered pension scheme and a pay freeze, also for three years. This is all in step with the survival plan Ineos has developed for the plant. Ineos has also said that it will invest £ 3000 million towards the site’s long term future.

CBI response to the reopening
‘This is great news. We welcome the decision to restart operations at Grangemouth with immediate effect. The site is a major employer in the area with a vital role in the wider economy of Scotland and the UK. The decision by Ineos to go ahead with its planned £ 300 million investment in the site demonstrates an important commitment to the long term future of Grangemouth, its employees and the chemicals industry,’ said John Cridland, CBI Director General.

UK Government response
Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said, ‘This is a very positive result. Grangemouth is important to the Scottish economy, the UK economy and most importantly to the local economy where 800 jobs have been saved and the local community has avoided a major blow. We can now look forward to a future of growth at Grangemouth. Many people in the UK and Scottish Governments have worked hard to make this happen, a clear sign to our commitment to Scotland, its economy and its people.’

Alistair Carmichael, Scottish Secretary said, ‘This is the news we all wanted. The staff and their families have been through a very stressful and uncertain time. They have been through a hell of a week and I hope they have a much better weekend as a result of today’s announcement. They can look to the future with an optimism which was absent earlier in the week.

‘This is the outcome we have worked towards and one which Scotland and Grangemouth deserve. There are undoubtedly lessons to be learned from this dispute but for now we should focus on the immediate success of securing the site’s future. The joint talks at Ineos yesterday have been just one part of the UK government’s efforts to find a solution to this crisis. The UK Guarantee for the new ethane facility is an important part of the discussions and the plant will be a key part of the company’s plans for the future.

Carmichael confirmed with Ineos, at a meeting yesterday, that the UK government agrees that Grangemouth ethane project remained prequalified for the UK Guarantees Scheme.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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