Buying vinyl

Ineos is to acquire the Vinyl Acetate Monomer and Ethyl Acetate businesses of BP.

Ineos is to acquire the vinyl acetate monomer and ethyl acetate businesses of BP. The deal comprises 500ktpa of production capacity at the Saltend manufacturing site near Hull, UK, along with the Teesside to Saltend Ethylene Pipeline (TSEP).

‘The addition of these facilities broadens the Ineos portfolio of oxygenated solvents, optimises existing links with our Grangemouth site and helps us to meet the growing demand for both products,’ said Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos’ chairman.

The ethyl acetate plant was commissioned in 2001 and has a capacity of 250ktpa, making it one of the world’s largest single ethyl acetate facilities. Ethyl acetate is used in the manufacture of printing inks, glues, paints, packaging, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

The vinyl acetate monomer plant, which also has 250ktpa capacity, was commissioned in 2002 and supplies an essential raw material for paints, adhesives, floor coverings and clothing production.

Between them, the facilities employ around 40 people, who will join Ineos on completion of the acquisition. The combined sales revenue from the plants in 2007 was around $400m.

‘The sale of our acetate businesses concludes an important part of our strategy to re-focus BP’s operations at the Saltend site,’ commented Dave Smith, General Manager of BP European Acetyls. ‘In line with the strategy that we announced in 2007, the sale will allow us to focus on our commitment to supply acetic acid and acetic anhydride to customers around the world.’

The acquisition is conditional on approval from the EU competition authorities. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter 2008.