Five years ago this week, px Group acquired Saltend Chemicals Park from BP.
Today, px CEO Geoff Holmes both reflects and looks ahead at what’s to come at what is one of the key success stories in the px Group portfolio of operations.
“Saltend, located just outside Hull on the banks of the River Humber, has been around for more than a century. The Park has been at the heart of economic and social progress in that time and continues to be so today, with the Park contributing so heavily to the major building blocks of our modern lives like pharmaceuticals, packaging, and plastics.
As owners and operators of the site, we take huge pride in being responsible for the 370 acres that make up the Park.
When px Group purchased the site in 2018, our vision was that px Group would “develop the park further and attract more manufacturers to benefit from the unique competitive advantages it offers.”
I don’t think that many people foresaw the flood of investment that Saltend has experienced since then.
We estimate that inward investment since 2018 totals more than £1bn, with world-class, international, blue-chip manufacturing and energy companies like BP, INEOS and Mitsubishi Chemicals and others continuing to invest at the site.
These companies consider Saltend a key location in their operations, with access to skilled, local professionals and to an international supply chain of manufacturing businesses two of the key factors in the significant role the Park plays in our partners’ operations.
Over the past two or three years we’ve put a lot of effort into attracting even more manufacturers playing their part in the energy transition – something that is both the right thing to do for the planet, and something that makes absolute commercial sense.
The efforts of those individuals leading the development of Saltend have borne fruit, with the likes of Pensana, a key part of the supply chain for rare earths critical to the wind turbine and electric vehicle industry, and Equinor, which is backing Saltend to be the UK’s low-carbon hydrogen hub of the future, choosing to invest on site.
There are five key elements of Saltend that has made it so successful:
Space – we have been innovative in our approach to offer current and potential partners flexibility and security;
Existing infrastructure – tried and tested operations that partners can rely upon;
Customers and industry – that partners can access and do business with right away;
Port and jetty access – so vital to international businesses; and most importantly
People and skills – the backbone of any successful business
But we’re not going to stand still. Today, we as a company are looking to invest further at Saltend, but we’re also looking at how we can take the Saltend business model to other areas in the UK, and indeed overseas to continental Europe.
Succeeding in doing that will only be possible through the continued application, skill and hard-work that has got the whole company – not just those at Saltend – to where it is today.
I think the final words should always be the key takeaway in any message, so I wanted to pay particular tribute to the people on site at Saltend. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to keep our existing partners and attract new ones, we wouldn’t have such fantastic camaraderie across the business, and we certainly wouldn’t be where we are today as a business.”
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