Enron Corp. has made a massive investment in the Teesside area of Northwest England and is pushing to maximize its rewards.
Since 1991, Enron has invested $3.5 billion in power projects worldwide, including the major share of $1.3 billion to build the Teesside power station. The plant is the world`s largest independently owned gas-fired unit, with capacity to generate 1,875 MW of electric power. Enron also owns and operates the nearby Teesside gas processing plant at Seal Sands (OGJ, Apr. 19, 1993, p. 23).
In December 1998, Enron bought 500 acres of development land and a business providing utilities to companies already operating plants nearby from Imperial Chemical Industries plc (ICI).
Enron has renamed the site Wilton International and has set out to lure heavy and light industrial companies to the site with a bait of raw materials, energy, steam, water, security and fire services, storage, laboratory facilities, and even financial backing.
An Enron Teesside Operations official explained that the Wilton area is currently a hub of chemicals production, with ethylene, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, ethylene oxide, nylon, aniline, nitrobenzene, and terephthalic acid all made there.
The Wilton International site covers 2,300 acres and contains petrochemicals plants operated by BP Amoco plc, Du Pont (U.K.) Ltd., Huntsman Chemical Corp. Ltd., ICI, the Targor joint venture of BASF AG and Hoechst AG, and Union Carbide Corp., along with Enron`s power plant.
Enron plans to offer the bulk of the 500 acres of undeveloped land in 20 lots: 10 sites amounting to 175 acres for chemicals and heavy industry and 10 sites of a combined 295 acres for light industry.
Matthew Scrimshaw, CEO of Enron Teesside Operations, said that the Wilton site is home to some of the world`s leading chemical companies.
"We believe Wilton International is an unparalleled location for successful investment, and we are confident additional global players will recognize the benefits of establishing their European base here.
"Wilton is one of the very few sites in Western Europe that has all the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the needs of heavy industrial, chemical, and process companies, and we believe that Enron`s skills in providing third-party finance and risk-management products add real value to the package."
However, Enron is cautious about putting exact numbers on how much investment it is targeting. The official said the combination of land, raw materials, utilities, and financing has great scope to attract investment.
"If we manage to fill the site," said the official, "which is a big target, we could be looking at inward investment of several hundred million dollars over 5-10 years and also several hundred new jobs. We reckon that every $150 million of new plant (investment) could mean 50 new jobs."