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Kop that!

Byline: Ian Mcneal

A chemical firm is expanding its Teesside operations after completing a multi-million pound acquisition which secures scores of local jobs.

Koppers UK has bought Yorkshire firm Lambson Speciality Chemicals in a deal creating new company Koppers Lambson.

The buyout will see Lambson transfer its glycerine and ammonium sulphate production facilities to Teesside, ensuring the future of Koppers's Port Clarence works. About 70 staff work at Port Clarence and about five workers are expected to transfer to Teesside.

Koppers declined to reveal the financial terms of the agreement, but said the investment ran into millions of pounds.

Ralph Formstone, works manager, said: "The company is looking at diversification. We have a large site here which can easily accommodate this business.

"We have got fixed overheads but by diversifying in this way then we can increase the income of the site. It will not create any jobs but it will secure the jobs that are here now and we are pleased this deal has gone through."

A glycerine plant will convert glycerol into food-grade glycerine, a chemical used in a range of sectors including pharmaceutical, food and beauty industries.

An ammonium sulphate facility produces a liquid fertilizer used in agriculture. Both plants will produce 15,000 tonnes of chemicals a year.

US-based Koppers took over the 100-acre Port Clarence site in 2000 from previous owners Bitmac. The site carries out tar distillation and will continue the operation.

The ammonium sulphate plant is planned to be operational by the end of July and the glycerine facility in September.

Walter Turner, Koppers President, added: "The combination of Lambson Speciality Chemicals with our extensive operational facilities and financial backing will allow us to further develop this chemical business.

"Our bulk storage, port facilities, laboratory testing capability, power generation and waste water treatment plant complement the Lambson processes and products."

The management of Lambson Speciality Chemicals, a subsidiary of the Lambson Group, will relocate to Koppers' European head office in Lincolnshire.
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Title Annotation:Business Weekly
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 26, 2005
Words:328
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