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Oil refinery brings billions to Teesside

Date 11 Oct 2007

The resurgance of the process industry in the North East continues with the announcement yesterday that SONHOE Development Company plans to build a £2billion crude oil refinery on Teesside. The investment is the largest ever single industrial investment announced in the region.

The new facility has been designed to process 200,000 barrels a day of heavy crude oil into high quality, low sulphur diesel, petrochemical feedstock naphtha and kerosene for use in the UK or for export. The plant also incorporates the production of hydrogen and would be one of the largest hydrogen producing plants in Europe.

Dr Stan Higgins, CEO of NEPIC (North East Process Industry Cluster), said: "NEPIC's members welcome SONHOE on board and will provide valuable supply chain support to the project. Teesside Chemical companies have also indicated that on top of the SONHOE investment they are likely to invest a further £2 billion in projects in order to take advantage of the new source of raw materials that will be provided by Sonhoe's initial investment. In other words, this is likely to lead to substantial job increases in downstream industries."

SONHOE managing director Mike True, said: "We are very pleased to announce our plans to build this complex - it is the culmination of several years of planning and outstanding support from the area. Tees Valley is the ideal location for this development with the availability of brown field land, deep water access and a highly experienced and world class manufacturing workforce."

Joe Docherty, chief executive of Tees Valley Regeneration, said: "We believe that what we have to offer in the Tees Valley is a great proposition and have worked with SONHOE for several years to get the project to this stage. We tick all the right boxes in terms of having a great location next to the North Sea, a skilled work force and vital industrial infrastructure.

"This massive project will bring enormous benefits to the Tees Valley through jobs, investment and off-shoot business opportunities and we are absolutely delighted to welcome SONHOE."

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