An £850m investment from a Saudi Arabian oil company will safeguard 1,000 industry jobs on Teesside.
Saudi Aramco, the parent company of petrochemical group SABIC, announced on Wednesday, October 27, that it would be injecting the funds into the SABIC site in Wilton, Redcar.
The deal means SABIC's hydrocarbon 'cracker', used to break down chemicals, can be restarted after being shut for more than a year.
It brings an to months of uncertainty for thousands of local workers and those in the firms supply chain.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This has taken a huge amount of time, effort and political diplomacy to get this investment over the line.
"This commitment from SABIC is yet another huge vote of confidence in our world-beating chemicals and processing industries and will create and safeguard 1,000 skilled, well-paid jobs for local workers."
The cracker, known as the Olefins 6 plant, breaks down hydrocarbons into chemicals such as ethylene which are then used in a host of further processes.
SABIC has also confirmed that they will explore converting the cracker to run on electricity - a move which Mayor Houchen says would make it the world’s first cracker to be converted to run on electricity.
He added that if it proved successful, SABIC would convert all of their crackers around the globe.
The investment comes following months of negotiations involving Mayor Houchen and ministers which culminated in him meeting Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, the global chief executive of SABIC at the Global Investment Summit, hosted by the Prime Minster earlier this month.
SABIC is absolutely central to the future success of the chemical industry in the UK and is especially important to Teesside. This funding further strengthens our regional ties with SABIC and puts them front and centre of our regional economy.
Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor
Mayor Houchen added: “SABIC is absolutely central to the future success of the chemical industry in the UK and is especially important to Teesside. This funding further strengthens our regional ties with SABIC and puts them front and centre of our regional economy."
And Redcar MP Jacob Young said: “SABIC is an integral part of our region’s chemicals and processing industries and this funding commitment will secure the plant for the long-term."
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