Employment rise in Hull as Mitsubishi Chemical UK builds new production line

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The Saltend Chemicals Park site, which opened in 2002, manufactures a grade of ethylene vinyl copolymer (EVOH) for the European market under the Soarnol brand.

The product is mainly used in packaging to extend the shelf life of food, as well as other products in the medical and agricultural sectors.

The Hull plant has seen a significant increase in demand as food manufacturers look for low environmental impact packaging products that can be recycled.

Hundreds of millions of pounds are to be invested at Mitsubishi Chemical UK in Hull to build a new production line which will more than double its capacity and create dozens of jobs.

The new plant will be built on land directly adjacent to the current facility and is expected to be completed by mid-2025.

Managing Director Peter des Forges said a significant increase in turnover was expected within a few years of the new plant being commissioned, with the majority of SoarnoL produced being exported to more than 42 countries.

“The potential for this versatile product is phenomenal,” he said. “Its production is low impact, it can be recycled with plastic and it reduces food waste by keeping produce fresh longer.

“It has always been the intention to increase the capacity of our site, and the team at Hull working behind the scenes to ensure the plans get the green light are celebrating this fantastic news.

“We are now in our 20th year of manufacturing SoarnoL in Hull and this major investment secures our location in the city for years to come.”

SoarnoL, which mainly comprises carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, is colorless and odorless and used as a barrier layer in food packaging.

The company was previously owned by the Japanese company Nippon Gohsei, with Hull chosen as the location due to its proximity to ports and the availability of raw materials from nearby Saltend companies. It became wholly owned by Mitsubishi Chemical Group in November 2016 and changed its name to Mitsubishi Chemical UK Ltd in April 2021.

The company also has additional facilities on Marfleet Lane which it opened in 2011 to create bespoke qualities of SoarnoL.

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