The Government has awarded industrial gases company BOC £1.5 million from its Regional Growth Fund to support the construction of a new Dissolved Acetylene production facility in North East Lincolnshire.
BOC, a member of the The Linde Group, is proposing to site the facility next to its existing Special Gases plant at Immingham. Subject to final planning permission, work on the project, worth around £20 million in total, will begin with a view to the plant becoming operational in 2012. The new facility is expected to generate around 40 jobs (direct and indirect).
Dissolved acetylene is used in a wide range of industrial processes by over 160,000 customers of BOC across the UK. It is used for welding and cutting operations as well as in the hardening of metals. As such it is a key technology in many engineering and infrastructure programmes.
Mike Huggon, Managing Director of BOC, said: “I am delighted that the Government has recognised the strategic importance of this project to the UK economy. The new plant that we are proposing to construct at Immingham is designed to provide the UK with a state of the art production and filling facility suited to the demands of 21st century engineering.”
Councillor Chris Shaw, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council said: “I am delighted that BOC has secured this investment which will lead to quality jobs in the area. The project is a prime example of how the private sector, council and MPs can successfully work together under one voice for the benefit of the area.”
Tony Ogden, Manager of BOC Operations at Immingham and Chairman of Humber Chemical Focus, commented: “This investment will be a real stimulus for the economy both at local and national level. It will create new jobs in the Humber region as well as servicing the needs of the wider UK industrial community.”
The planned new DA facility is part of a coordinated programme to strengthen the supply chain for this product. BOC is investing nearly £10 million in the latest ‘ecological porous mass’ cylinders which contain greater volumes of gas within the same cylinder sizes.
The company is also reinforcing and formalising commercial agreements with third party suppliers in Europe to ensure stable, secure yet flexible supplies. The new cylinder technology is compatible with systems used by continental suppliers and this will simplify technical compatibility and quality assurance.
Taken together, these investments will make the supply chain more flexible and responsive to variations in demand within the marketplace in the UK and Ireland.