Scotland Plans Chemical Sciences Hub in Grangemouth
A new eight-year strategic plan by Chemical Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group foresees creating a key European hub in Grangemouth for the government-backed chemical sciences cluster.
The hub, which would be built up in cooperation with Ineos, is one of four priorities outlined in the new plan backed by energy minister Paul Wheelhouse, whose brief also includes business and innovation.
One of the strategy’s key points is to exploit Scotland’s potential in the industrial biotechnology sector and to establish the country as a “world-class center of high-value manufacturing,” as well as delivering a skills investment plan to provide easy-to-access training and education at all levels to support the growth of the chemical sciences sector.
Tom Shields, acting chair of the group, said Chemical Sciences Scotland's aim is to "sustain a vibrant and competitive Scottish chemicals industry driving growth in the Scottish economy". He said the organization will seek to attract investment through innovative new models and inspire more businesses to develop innovative new products, processes and services.
Work on the Grangemouth hub is being overseen by Ian Little, a member of Chemical Sciences Scotland and site business development manager at Ineos O&P UK. Little said the plan, which will build on recent investment in Grangemouth by Ineos and other companies, “aims to engage all stakeholders to create in Grangemouth a compelling, sustainable, competitive position in chemicals manufacturing, creating a focal point for investment in high-value chemicals manufacturing and significantly expanding the local and Scottish economy.”
Scotland’s chemical sciences products supply a number of sectors including food and drink, energy and pharmaceuticals. A regards manufacturing, Ineos – which got its start in Grangemouth, buying businesses from BP – is by far the largest player. Several years ago, it launched a plan to attract investment to share services at its vast site.
Scant outside investment on the site has been seen up to now.
Ineos itself has concentrated its infrastructure investment at Grangemouth largely on facilitating the import of US shale gas and fighting the local council for permission to close local traffic arteries near its production facilities.