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Fast-rising engineer lands Synthite job.

A CHEMICAL engineer who played a key role in the commissioning of a new factory in Poland just weeks into his career has joined leading North Wales chemical manufacturer Synthite.

Keith Polden, 32, has joined the Mold-based company as operations general manager following nine years at Kronospan, a wood chip and fibre board manufacturer at Chirk, near Wrexham.

He was just 22 and two weeks into his first job, having graduated with a degree in chemistry from Durham University, when he was sent to Poland as part of an eight-man commissioning team for a new plant near Gdansk.

``I think I was thrown in at the deep end, but I really enjoyed it. It was a major investment for the company and we were under enormous pressure to get the plant performing from day one. '' he said.

``For the first six months I was sent out there on and off for a couple of weeks at a time. I was away from home and working 16 or 18-hour days, so at times it was hard. ''

Mr Polden, of Whittington, near Oswestry, said of his new role at Synthite: ``It will be my aim to improve production capacity while also ensuring that our environmental and health and safety record remains extremely good. ''

The Mold-based operation, which employs more than 100 people, makes formaldehyde, a basic building block of the chemical industry, used in many everyday products including car dashboards and wood glue for MDF furniture.

Synthite recently bought BIP Ltd in the West Midlands, a company that makes chemical powders and resins from raw materials such as formaldehyde.

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Keith Polden, who has joined chemical manufacturer Synthite
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 13, 2005
Words:277
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