Vinyl acetate is a versatile intermediate for compounds used in paints, adhesives, textile treatments and paper coatings. In chemical partnership with ethylene, its applications include hot melt glues and sports shoe soles. Combined with acrylonitrile, it is used for man-made acrylic fibres. Global demand is around 3m tonnes a year.
The new vinyl acetate monomer plant at Hull is part of a £500m investment drive in the UK announced by BP last month, aimed at increasing the competitiveness of its European chemicals business.
There will be a heat and power plant, ethanol plant and expanded ethylene production at Grangemouth in Scotland. Some 3,200 construction and 225 full-time jobs will be created at Hull and Grangemouth.