BP, and Accsys Technologies through its subsidiary Tricoya Technologies Limited (TTL) and Medite have announced the creation of a consortium, Tricoya Ventures UK Limited (TVUK). BP, through its petrochemicals and venturing businesses will invest over $25 million in TTL and TVUK over a two year period.
This new company will build and operate the world’s first Tricoya® wood elements acetylation plant, with a focus on providing Tricoya acetylated wood into the European market. The new plant will be located on the Saltend Chemicals Park, and the deal is announced as BP celebrates 50 years of operations in Hull.
“The creation of this new consortium provides an exciting new platform for growth for our BP Hull facility”, said Nigel Dunn, VP, BP global acetyls. “The co-location of the Tricoya Ventures UK plant with our acetic acid facility creates natural synergies and the foundation for a great partnership. BP has a long history in Hull and we are proud to be able to find new opportunities to support economic growth and diversity in the region.”
The wood acetylation plant will manufacture acetylated Tricoya wood chips. These wood chips are treated with the acetic anhydride produced by BP Chemicals at Saltend and then used to produce high performance MDF or particle board panels. It is expected that the joint venture will support 30 new jobs within the region in addition to roles created through its construction and associated supply chain.
Paul Clegg, Accsys CEO and TTL chairman said,” We are pleased to have secured a new manufacturing capacity for Tricoya wood elements that will allow us to take advantage of the growing market opportunity for Tricoya which we believe to be substantial with continued growing demand for this product.”
Over the past 50 years, BP has invested in its two acetic acid manufacturing plants and has been home to a new generation of chemical processes. Today, Hull hosts some of BP’s most innovative and cutting-edge operations. BP owns two acetyls plants, which are the largest producers of acetic acid in Europe and also hosts one of the principal global research and technology centres for petrochemicals. BP has seen an evolution of the site and is now one of seven world-class chemicals and energy businesses which operate from Saltend Chemicals Park.
As the first major corporate sponsor of Hull, UK City of Culture 2017, BP was also one of the original private companies whose support helped the city win the bid. Over the past 50 years, BP has also supported the local community with a number of partnerships including the Humberside Police Lifestyle project for over 25 years, Humber Business Week, Hull Pride, Humber Street Sesh, C4DI and has raised more than £200,000 for local charities in the last eight years.
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About the process and product
Wood acetylation is a process which increases the amount of 'acetyl' molecules in wood, thereby changing its physical properties. When carried out to a sufficient level throughout the wood, this process protects wood from rot by making it "inedible" to most micro-organisms and fungi, without - unlike conventional treatments - making it toxic. It also greatly reduces the wood's tendency to swell and shrink, making it less prone to cracking and ensuring that, when painted, it requires dramatically reduced maintenance. They can be used as high performance panels in external and wet applications in the construction industry which are served today with tropical hardwood or man-made products.
The plant is expected to have an initial capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes of acetylated Tricoya chips per annum which will be used as feedstock for the production of high performance MDF or particle board panels. The annual production from the new plant will be used to manufacture 40,000 cubic metres of panel products in a market estimated to be in excess of 1.6million cubic metres annually.