Petrochemical giant Ineos has blasted MP Michael Connarty’s statement its under fire Grangemouth site made a profit this year.
Mr Connarty, MP for East Falkirk, told The Falkirk Herald last week the plant, which Ineos claimed had lost £579 million over the last four years, actually made £76 million profit on a £288 million turnover this year.
He added: “To say this is a plant that does not make money for Scotland is a complete nonsense.”
However, Ineos stated his claims were untrue and based on an “incorrect understanding” of the company’s accounts.
Last week Ineos reduced the value of its Grangemouth petrochemical complex from £400 million to zero and the vast site is now worthless according to the firm’s annual accounts.
It was suggested the company would be happy to offload the business for as little as one pound, leading Mr Connarty to accuse the firm of trying to bully the government into handing over cash to keep the site running.
He said: “I will do all I can to persuade the Scottish and UK governments to do everything they can to help Ineos with their future investments, but the company needs to learn they cannot get away with trying to use threats to force the government or the workforce to help them out of a hole that management have dug for themselves.”
Ineos suffered another blow this week with news its Hull-based Vinyl Acetate Monomer facility was ceasing operations and closing down.
The VAM site was a key customer for the Grangemouth plant, traditionally taking 20 per cent of its ethylene product.
Ineos Grangemouth chairman Calum MacLean said: “This is a sad day for the whole site at Hull, which also hits Grangemouth hard when it is already suffering from depleting feedstocks and increasing costs.”
“Unfortunately the closure of this world scale VAM unit has a significant knock on effect at Grangemouth as we lose a major customer for good.”
The news comes as members of Unite begin a work-to-rule and overtime ban at Grangemouth over the firm’s alleged mistreatment of union official Stephen Deans.