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Approval of Cessation of the Production of Methacrylates at the Cassel Site

February. 9, 2023—The Mitsubishi Chemical UK board has announced the approval of the closure of Methacrylates production at the Cassel Site in Billingham. This approval follows both the completion of a Collective Consultation process and the provision of necessary funding to complete the closure.

Activities will now be undertaken to safely de-inventory the Methacrylates assets.

The production of methacrylates requires the consumption of significant quantities of natural gas both as energy and as feedstock for the manufacturing process. The methacrylates facility has been offline since January 2022, initially to undertake a planned overhaul event, and since September due to the impact of rapidly escalating natural gas prices caused by the ongoing situation in Ukraine. There has also been a significant downturn in the European economy as a result of high inflation, resulting in weaker demand in the methacrylates market.

Notes to Editors

Mitsubishi Chemical UK Limited is a UK company of the Mitsubishi Chemical Group, with operations in Japan, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.

The Mitsubishi Chemical Group is the world’s largest producer of methacrylates – the building block chemical intermediates in the manufacture of acrylic products. The Cassel site has the capacity to make about 200,000 tonnes a year of methacrylates.

MMA is the essential chemical component in shop and road signage and fittings, COVID protective screens and baths and kitchenware, has multiple applications in the automotive and transport industry, and is a key component in low VOC systems for many coatings, inks and adhesives.

Acrylics manufacturing operations at the Cassel site at Billingham began under ICI in 1930 and continued until 1999 when the business was bought by Ineos. It was sold to Lucite International in 2002 and was acquired by Mitsubishi Rayon (currently Mitsubishi Chemical) in 2009.