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SMT & Inspection | July 08, 2009

Dow to shutdown its Wilton facility, UK

Dow Chemical intends to close its ethylene oxide and glycol (EOEG) production facility at Wilton, United Kingdom by the end of January 2010. The site employs 55 people.
The actual number of jobs that could be impacted by the intended closure will be determined following an employee consultation period. “Decisions to shutdown a facility are not taken lightly. A comprehensive review of potential options was conducted, which included seeking a buyer for the site and engagement with industry leaders, regional and government groups to identify alternatives to a shutdown. A workable option was not identified” said Malcolm Wilson, Site leader, Dow (Wilton). “Without an economically viable alternative it is with great regret we have to announce our intention to stop production at the Wilton site by the end of January 2010.” Several factors contribute to the intention to close the Dow Wilton EOEG plant, including the site’s disadvantaged input costs. In addition, demand and profit margins for the site’s outputs, particularly monoethylene glycol (MEG), began to soften in early 2008. MEG economics have been significantly worsened by the global economic recession, further placing the Wilton site at a disadvantage. The ongoing recession is expected to prolong difficult global EOEG industry conditions for several years and has expedited the need for Dow to come to a decision regarding the Wilton facility. “The decision to close the Dow Wilton EOEG site is extremely difficult. Dow Wilton employees have a global reputation for excellence in terms of teamwork plus safe and reliable operations” said Lee Christens, global business director Dow EOEG. “However, potential closure of the plant has become necessary, given the unsustainable business conditions the facility faces.”
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