Grangemouth chemical plant to be shut-down, leaving hundreds of jobs at risk
The giant Grangemouth petrochemical plant in central Scotland is set to close down and enter liquidation within the next week, its Swiss owner Ineos announced today.
Ineos said it had to take this action as the majority of the Grangemouth employees and shop floor workers had rejected the companies demand for changes to pay, pension and union representation. As a result, shareholders could no longer continue to fund the business stating that they saw no future for Grangemouth without change.
The Swiss owner also announced that its joint venture with PetroChina would now decide whether to restart the Grangemouth refinery and this decision would be “primarily dependent on the removal of the threat of further industrial action”.
Opened in 1924 on the banks of the Firth of Forth in east Scotland, Grangemouth accounts for 8% of Scotland’s manufacturing industry and provides most of Scotland’s fuel. It employees around 1,400 staff workers with 800 of those employed at the chemical plant.
Today’s announcement came as a blow to hundreds of its employees. With around 800 jobs at risk, the move is a set back for the Scottish National Party, which has been leading the campaign for Scotland to become independent.
Experts say closure of the refinery and the petrochemical plant at Grangemouth could cost the Scottish economy as much as 2% of gross domestic product.
Commenting on the closure of the plant, Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond said: “This is the outcome that matches our worst fears. The Scottish government was trying to find a buyer, and strongly believes the site has a positive future and we will continue to work with the UK government and all other parties concerned to find a solution that supports the workers affected and the wider Scottish economy.”