Wilton International

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Wilton International, September 2006

Wilton International is a multi-occupancy chemical manufacturing site in Redcar, United Kingdom.

History and occupants[edit]

The site was formerly wholly owned and operated by ICI and was opened by the Queen in 1956. Following the fragmentation of ICI, the owner of the site since 1995, Enron owned the facility briefly before it was acquired by Sembcorp, a Singaporese company.[1] A number of multinational chemical companies now operate on the site and Sembcorp who are utility company have built the UK's first wood fired power station, Wilton 10, on the site and in 2013 have announced a new waste to energy plant known as Wilton 11.

There have been both closures and new chemical plants built at the Wilton Chemical site as the process industry continues to change and rejuvenate in line with changing consumer demands.

In 2001 BP closed its polythene plant (Polythene 5), which it had bought from ICI in 1982. In the same year Basell closed its polypropylene plant.[2][3] In January 2009, Invista announced it was to close all of its plants on the site. The Teesside Power Station a partially mothballed gas-fired power station was being dismantled in 2014 and 2015.[4]

Companies currently operating on the site include SABIC, who built the world's largest low-density polyethylene plant (LDPE) in 2009 and still operate an ethylene cracker there.[5][6]

Lotte Chemicals expanded both PTA and PET production in 2011, with a new plant being commissioned in 2013.[7] Huntsman manufacture polyurethane intermediates and Ensus built their bioethanol facility in 2009, which at the time, was the largest of its type in the United Kingdom.[8] Biffa Polymers opened a polymer recycling plant that handles up to 30% of the UKs plastic milk bottles in March 2011.[9] While in support of Semcorp, who built the UKs first wood-fired power station (Wilton 10), UK Wood Recycling Limited have a significant facility on the site providing waste wood to fuel Wilton 10.[10]

Wilton International is a multi-occupancy business and research centre and is one of the main offices used by the economic cluster body the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster(NEPIC). Many occupants of the Wilton International facility are members of the NEPIC Cluster. The Wilton International complex is one of the largest R&D facilities in Europe and is also home to the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), part of the Technology Strategy Board's High Value Manufacturing Catapult network.[11] Wilton International has both laboratories and scale-up facilities for the chemistry using process industries that are accessed by many companies on a commercial or contract basis.


  1. ^ Hurworth, Colin (1999). Wilton the First Fifty Years. Falcon Press. ISBN 1872339018. 
  2. ^ "BUSINESS | Chemicals factory shutdown". BBC News. 18 September 2001. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "BUSINESS | Petroleum giant to close factory". BBC News. 21 August 2001. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Robson, Dave (16 December 2014). "Teesside Power Station at Wilton will soon be no more as demolition continues apace". Gazette Live. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  5. ^ Price, Kelley (10 July 2014). "Noisy flaring at Wilton will continue until 'Cracker' plant is restarted, says SABIC". Gazette Live. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  6. ^ Richardson, Andy (20 April 2013). "Sabic to axe more than 100 jobs on Teesside". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  7. ^ "Lotte Chemical UK's expansion approved". Insider Media Ltd. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  8. ^ "Chemical plant to start production trial". BBC News. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  9. ^ "Biffa Polymers officially opens mixed plastics plant - letsrecycle.com". letsrecycle.com. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  10. ^ Holder, Michael (13 November 2013). "Wood recycling firm fined 200k after worker death - letsrecycle.com". letsrecycle.com. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  11. ^ "Catapult - High Value Manufacturing". Technology Strategy Board. Retrieved 2013-11-21.