Saudi deal secured of nearly £1bn to reopen Wilton ‘cracker’ plant

A DEAL for a major Saudi investment of nearly one billion pounds into SABIC in Teesside has been secured,creating and safeguarding 1,000 jobs.

The deal, secured by Saudi Aramco, will see SABIC’s parent company inject £850million into the Teesside business ending months of uncertainty for thousands of workers and those in the firms supply chain.


The new funding will mean its hydrocarbon cracker at Wilton can be restarted.

Read more: Saudi millions could reopen Wilton ‘cracker’ plant

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, and has been shut down for over a year.

SABIC have also confirmed that they will explore converting the cracker to run electricity, making it the worlds-first cracker to be converted to run on electricity, if successful SABIC will convert all of their crackers around the globe.

The investment comes following negotiations by the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and ministers with Mr Houchen meeting Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, the global Chief Executive of SABIC, earlier this month at the Global Investment Summit hosted by the Prime Minster.


Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This massive investment 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.

“SABIC has always been important to Teesside and this funding further strengthens these ties. Since the cracker was mothballed last year there has been some uncertainty about the future of the plant, this announcement will remove this uncertainty once and for all.

“I would like to thank Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan who understands how important SABIC’s Wilton site is to the future of the company and their plans to reduce emissions.

“Investments like these, and those that we are securing in hydrogen, offshore wind and carbon capture that are taking shape across the whole Tees Valley bring about less pollution, and drive forward an environment that, like these industries, is also cleaner, healthier and safer.”

The Northern Echo: Jacob Young MP for RedcarJacob Young MP for Redcar

Jacob Young, MP for Redcar, said: “This is genuinely fantastic news for Wilton Site and for the wider Teesside Industrial Cluster. On a day where we’ve seen investment from Government and the UK Infrastructure Bank announced for our region, to get this over the line too is phenomenal.

“Hundreds of millions of pounds invested in the site, a secure future for decades to come, and creating and protecting over 1000 jobs. What a result.

“Having worked at SABIC on Teesside, being part of its rebirth is personally really special to me, and I want to thank Lord Gerry Grimstone and Mayor Ben Houchen for all their work in helping us secure this.

“After years of industrial decline, we are seeing a revival in our industry on Teesside – spurred on by our Freeport and the decision on Net Zero Teesside – and I could not be more buzzing about what our future holds and the amazing opportunities we are creating here.”

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The Northern Echo | Business News