A new era has dawned at one of the UK’s most important industrial complexes with a new owner and operator taking charge.
Teesside based infrastructure solutions business, the px group, has acquired the Saltend Chemical Park at Hull and is providing comprehensive energy, infrastructure, operations and maintenance services on the 370 acre site.
The company intends to work with existing and new operators to develop and expand the park – which was established in 1914 and has, for the last 50 years, been owned by BP.
It currently comprises a collaborative cluster of businesses that manufacture more than a million tonnes of chemical products a year. These are used in everyday items including clothing, paints, pharmaceuticals and packaging.
Leading global companies operating at the upper tier COMAH* site are Air Products, BP, Engie, INEOS, Nippon Gohsei, Perenco, Vivergo and Yara.
As part of the agreement, around 50 BP jobs have transferred employment to px, which has stated that a safe changeover is the top priority, followed by a continued expansion of the park, in collaboration with the existing tenants.
Established as an independent company in 2002 and with an operating history going back to 1992, px has proven expertise in managing, operating and maintaining some of Europe’s largest industrial facilities.
In March of 2016, the business announced a partnership with Blue Water Energy, a specialist private equity energy fund, to support a strategic growth plan. The Saltend purchase is the first expansion through acquisition.
px chief executive officer, Mark Kenrick, said: “This marks a major new chapter in the development and diversification of our business. The provision of industrial utility services on a large COMAH site is a natural extension of our core competence in gas processing, power plant and midstream infrastructure operations. Our huge
experience operating and maintaining plants on sites like this and in the processes carried out, makes this an ideal opportunity for px.
“Over the coming weeks we will focus on a safe transition with uninterrupted supply of services and utilities to our on-site partners. Our drive will then be to develop the park further and attract more manufacturers to benefit from the unique competitive advantages it offers, whilst, of course, ensuring we provide a first rate service to the existing site partners.”
The px group also currently operates major gas processing plants in Scotland and on Teesside; gas pipeline operations in the North Sea; power generating operations on Teesside, in Cumbria, Lincolnshire and in Wales and fuel storage and distribution facilities in Wales.
It is also, via its engineering and consultancy company, px ECL, supplying owner’s engineering (OE) and project management services on the £650 million construction of the world’s largest, new build, biomass combined heat and power (CHP) station at Teesport. Generating up to 299MWe of electricity – enough to supply 600,000 homes – the project is one of the most important thermal power plant construction projects for decades.
An energy trading division – E24 – manages energy buying and selling on behalf of clients, as well as services relating to industry ICT and administrative activities.