Two world class companies in Ellesmere Port are teaming up in a probable deal which would protect up to 40 jobs in a dedicated skilled workforce.
Essar Oil (UK), which operates the giant Stanlow refinery, has revealed it is to begin exclusive negotiations with Rossmore Business Park based SGS, a world leader in providing independent services, on the supply of laboratory services and product testing for the refinery, the second largest in the country.
Based at the Thornton research site, the arrangement offers the prospect of retaining the skills of workers involved in a previous contract with Shell Research, which it would replace.
It is understood the new contract will be agreed and signed off in the near future.
Shell Research announced it was ceasing operations at Thornton after gifting the facility to the University of Chester.
The university has agreed in principle to the continuation of the provision of laboratory services and product testing from the site.
A source at Essar said the company was ‘delighted’ with the agreement. It will provide an opportunity to safeguard local jobs on the Thornton site, utilise skills available in the Ellesmere Port community and further develop the area’s potential.
It is also understood Essar is to work closely with both the university and SGS on the continuing use of the Thornton site and on maintaining its longstanding relationship with the refinery.
Stanlow can handle almost 300,000 barrels of oil a day, or almost 15m tonnes a year.
The plant produces about 15% of the UK’s transport fuels, including about three billion litres of petrol, three and a half billion litres of diesel and two billion litres of jet fuel a year.
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company.
With its UK headquarters in the town it is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity with more than 75,000 employees and a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.