Tees Valley is a global leader for the chemical and process industry, with one of the most significant integrated industrial economies in the world. We produce some 30% of the UK’s chemical output and are home to some of the world’s biggest chemical manufacturers.
Tees Valley is home to the largest chemical complex in the UK, and the second largest in Europe in terms of manufacturing capacity. More than 1,400 companies in Tees Valley are directly involved in chemicals and process industry and the sector exports £12billion of product, contributing £2.5billion a year to the local economy.
A Supportive Infrastructure
Tees Valley’s chemical industry is concentrated across a relatively small area with a well-developed infrastructure. The three main sites of Wilton International, Billingham and Seal Sands & North Tees run approximately 12 miles east to west either side of the River Tees and contain major international companies such as Huntsman, INEOS, SABIC, Lucite, Lotte, CF Fertilisers and Sembcorp.
Tees Valley’s supportive infrastructure includes a deep water port, significant tank farm logistics facilities, pipeline corridors connecting manufacturing sites, bulk industrial gas and effluent treatment plants.
Wilton International is the largest ‘private wire’ electricity network in the UK. One of the UK’s most important locations for the process industry, the site enables manufacturers to realise significant savings on both capex and opex compared to other UK locations, with between 20MW of onsite generation capacity available to users. It is also connected to the national transmission system for security of supply. Low-cost power generated onsite at Wilton provides manufacturers with competitively priced energy.
Since 2003, Sembcorp has invested over £297million transitioning to a low carbon and renewable fuelled Combined Heat and Power asset base and the site has seen over £1.3billion of blue chip capital investment in the past ten years, including SABIC’s LDPE Plant and Gas Cracker project, Ensus’s Bio refinery, Lotte’s PET Plant and the planned Sirius Polyhalite Processing Plant.
Billingham and Seal Sands
The industrial areas around Seal Sands and Billingham are home to a number of major chemical and energy firms, such as pharmaceutical firm Fine Organics, acrylonitrile producer Ineos Nitriles, CF Industries producing nitrogen fertilisers and Lucite’s acrylics manufacturing plant. Connected through pipeline corridors these sites form an integrated complex with Wilton International, allowing the efficient flow of bulk feedstock between plants.
There are a number of available sites for development of new plants adjacent to these operators, with land footprints of over 100 acres available. This area has seen significant new investment with SABIC developing a new ethane import terminal which includes Europe’s largest cryogenic ethane tank, and Mitsubishi Chemicals’ electrolyte plant in Billingham.
All types of chemicals are represented in Tees Valley, from hydrocarbon separations activities and petrochemical manufacture to fine specialty chemicals and pharmaceutical intermediates and actives. Within composites, the Tees Valley offer also includes acrylonitrile feedstock, polymers and glass fibres, pre-eminent resins expertise and proximity to UK and European fabricators and composites customers.
Tees Valley is home to one of the largest gas crackers in Europe, owned by SABIC UK. The firm is currently undertaking the region’s largest process sector investment in a generation – the Teesside gas cracker conversion; BOC Linde operates one of the world’s largest industrial gas pipeline grids supplying hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and argon in Tees Valley; Lotte Chemicals has invested in a new Polyetheylene Terephthalate (PET) manufacturing plant alongside its existing assets; Venator’s global headquarters and UK manufacturing base are located in Tees Valley; Lucite International is the global leader in acrylic based products; Huntsman Polyurethanes has an Aniline plant and a Mononitrobenzene plant at Wilton – both of which are the largest of their type in the world; CF Industries is the UK’s leading manufacturer of ammonia, nitric acid, ammonium nitrate and granular fertilisers.
Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is an open-access, independent innovation centre that supports the development of the UK process industry and UK manufacturing. CPI provides state-of-the-art facilities and market knowledge to assist businesses of all sizes in efficiently delivering innovations as market-ready solutions. This reduces the risks that come with developing new concepts, giving businesses the best chance of success.
You can find out more by downloading our chemical and process investment prospectus