BASF decision to close Seal Sands plant shows real need a Tees Valley Industrial Plan, says Alex

The decision by BASF to close its hexamethylene diamine (HMD) plant at Seal shows there is a real need for a Tees Valley Industrial Plan, says Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham.

From 12 February 2021 the maintenance and operation of  the plant will transfer to BASF following the termination of an agreement between them and INEOS. After a expressing concerns about “profitability and competitiveness”, BASF contacted Alex to confirm that the company plans to close the plant sometime in 2021.

The number of jobs that could ultimately be lost is said to be 30.

Alex said:

“After a period of eight months which has seen us lose more than 12500 jobs across the Tees Valley, it is deeply disappointing to see another Teesside plant close down with the loss of many well paid skilled jobs.

“I’ve been told that the 30 directly employed workers will be transferred to BASF and will be largely employed decommissioning the plant over the next 12 to 18 months after which there may be other opportunities within the BASF group elsewhere in the country.

“The chemical industry is part of the life blood of our area and we need to see how it can be better supported to invest for the future to retain and create new jobs particularly now we have left the EU when they are facing all manner of new barriers to trade.  We really do need an industrial plan for Teesside that works – not one which promises jobs at some time in the future and fails to protect those that exist.”