BP to restructure Grangemouth complex, shut down CDU and polyethylene plant

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Nov. 13 -- BP PLC said it will shut down an older crude processing unit and a polyethylene production unit as part of a restructuring effort at its Grangemouth refining and petrochemical complex in Scotland.

The restructuring also will lead to the loss of up to 1,000 jobs over 2 years.

"The move is part of a series of initiatives and investments to radically improve the plant's ability to compete in an increasingly difficult international refining and chemicals environment," said BP.

The company said the complex was severely affected by the economic downturn, unprecedented depressed chemicals markets, and a series of operational problems.

BP will streamline Grangemouth's three main businesses -- a 10 million tonnes/year refinery, a petrochemical complex that produces more than 1.5 million tonnes/year of chemicals, and the 1 million b/d Forties pipeline system and terminal -- into a single organization, designed to simplify site operations while increasing reliability and efficiency.

The restructuring, said BP, follows a major safety review after a "series of incidents" last year. The company is investing $115 million/year at Grangemouth to enhance safety and reliability.

In recent years, BP has invested £500 million in Grangemouth in a series of projects including expansion of the site's ethylene and polyethylene capacity, new polypropylene and ethanol production units, and new plants to improve the quality of gasoline and diesel fuel.

BP said it would work with displaced employees to help them find other BP positions or provide training, job assistance, and severance packages.

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