Chemicals giant Ineos has launched a consultation on the potential closure of a manufacturing plant which employs more than 220 workers.
The company said not all the jobs will be lost if it decides to close the Seal Sands Acrylonitrile plant on Teesside because of other activities at the site, which Ineos has owned for over a decade.
A statement said that despite investing more than £180 million to counter decades of “significant” underinvestment, the company believes nothing more can be done to ensure operations are safe and economically viable.
It would require another £180 million just to meet Ineos standards and environmental regulations, said a statement.
“The acrylonitrile process needs careful management and involves handling significant quantities of hazardous material.
“The company feels that it would not be possible to guarantee the long-term safety of our employees or our neighbours through continued operation of the plant and have thus reluctantly concluded that we should consider the option to close.”
Paul Overment of Ineos said: “After considering many options, we feel that we must now consult with employees on the potential closure of the plant.
“We do so with a heavy heart but there is no escaping the fact that decades of underinvestment on the site have led us to this point.
“Manufacturing assets need constant renewal if they are to survive.
“The last 10 years have proven that it is almost impossible to play catch-up and the lesson for us and other UK manufacturers is that constant reinvestment is vital for long-term prosperity.”