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Ineos, which has factories in Newton Aycliffe and Seal Sands, says Grangemouth site needs investment
A CHEMICAL firm, which operates plants in the North-East, has launched a survival plan to ensure the long-term future of one of its petrochemical sites.
Bosses at Ineos say its Grangemouth factory, in Scotland, is losing £10m a month and increasingly being hit by falling North Sea gases and a lack of major new investment.
The company says it could close by 2017, and has wiped £400m off the value of the factory.
The firm, which has plants in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, and Seal Sands, near Billingham, says it has already put £1bn into Grangemouth and is looking to invest a further £300m to build a new gas terminal to bring ethane from the US.
It has asked the Scottish and UK Government for grants and loan guarantees of up to £125m to support the venture.
Calum MacLean, chairman of Grangemouth Petrochemicals, said: “The current business is unsustainable.
“We have worked incredibly hard to put together a survival plan that asks something of everyone.
“If everyone agrees to it, Grangemouth has a future.
“If not, Grangemouth Petrochemicals will close.”
The rallying call came as unions pressed for an emergency summit and parliamentary debate in a bid to avert strikes at the site.
Workers at Grangemouth have started an overtime ban and work to rule in support of Unite convenor, Stevie Deans.
Staff voted in favour of action up to and including a strike and Unite officials say they have not ruled out calling for a walkout.
Mr Dean was suspended, then reinstated, by the company over allegations linked to his involvement over the selection of a Labour candidate.
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