ABP, and Accsys Technologies through its subsidiary Tricoya Technologies Limited (TTL) and Medite have announced the creation of a consortium, Tricoya Ventures UK Limited (TVUK). BP, through its petrochemicals and venturing businesses will invest over $25 million in TTL and TVUK over a two year period.

This new company will build and operate the world’s first Tricoya wood elements acetylation plant, with a focus on providing Tricoya acetylated wood into the European market. The new plant will be located on the Saltend Chemicals Park, and the deal is announced as BP celebrates 50 years of operations in Hull.

“The creation of this new consortium provides an exciting new platform for growth for our BP Hull facility”, said Nigel Dunn, VP, BP global acetyls. “The co-location of the Tricoya Ventures UK plant with our acetic acid facility creates natural synergies and the foundation for a great partnership. BP has a long history in Hull and we are proud to be able to find new opportunities to support economic growth and diversity in the region.”

The wood acetylation plant will manufacture acetylated Tricoya wood chips. These wood chips are treated with the acetic anhydride produced by BP Chemicals at Saltend and then used to produce high performance MDF or particle board panels. It is expected that the joint venture will support 30 new jobs within the region in addition to roles created through its construction and associated supply chain.

Paul Clegg, Accsys CEO and TTL chairman said,” We are pleased to have secured a new manufacturing capacity for Tricoya wood elements that will allow us to take advantage of the growing market opportunity for Tricoya which we believe to be substantial with continued growing demand for this product.”

Over the past 50 years, BP has invested in its two acetic acid manufacturing plants and has been home to a new generation of chemical processes. Today, Hull hosts some of BP’s most innovative and cutting-edge operations. BP owns two acetyls plants, which are the largest producers of acetic acid in Europe and also hosts one of the principal global research and technology centres for petrochemicals. BP has seen an evolution of the site and is now one of seven world-class chemicals and energy businesses which operate from Saltend Chemicals Park.

About BP Chemicals
BPs Hull site at Saltend, on the east coast of England, manufactures acetic acid and acetic anhydride. Our acetyls products are key raw materials in food preservation and pharmaceuticals, as well as in Purified Terephthalic Acid for textiles, bottles, packaging and film products. Hull is also home to one of BP's main global research and technology centres.In March, Teeside-based infrastructure solutions business the PX group announced it had agreed to buy the Saltend Chemicals Park from BP with a commitment to continue with the expansion of the park. BP remains as one of the largest businesses on the site.

BP Ventures identifies and makes strategic investments in private, high growth, game-changing technology companies, accelerating cutting edge innovations across the entire energy spectrum. The Investment portfolio is primarily focused on emerging technologies in oil and gas exploration and production and downstream conversion processes. BP Ventures also partners with entrepreneurial companies specialising in biotech, water, advanced materials, and digital technology. To learn more, please visit: bp.com/ventures

About Tricoya, Accsys and Medite
Tricoya® Wood Elements (www.tricoya.com) are produced using Accsys' proprietary technology for the acetylation of wood chips, and particles for use in the fabrication of panel products such as medium density fibreboard and particle-board.
These products demonstrate enhanced durability and dimensional stability which allow them to be used in a variety of applications that were once limited to solid wood or man-made products. Exploitation of Accsys’ proprietary technology relating to Tricoya® Wood Elements is carried out through Tricoya Technologies Limited. Tricoya® Wood Elements are lauded as the first major innovation in the wood composites industry in more than 30 years
    Accsys is the global leader in the technology for production of acetylated wood products which exhibit superior dimensional stability and durability compared with other natural and treated timber and wood elements (wood chips, fibres and particles). Accsys is a publically listed UK company with a production facility in Arnhem (Netherlands) and has offices in London and Dallas. Accsys Technologies is the trading name of Titan Wood Limited. ACCOYA®, TRICOYA® and the Trimarque Device are registered trademarks owned by Titan Wood Limited (“TWL”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Accsys Technologies PLC, and may not be used or reproduced without written permission from TWL, or in the case of the Tricoya® registered trademark, from Tricoya Technologies Limited, a  subsidiary of TWL with exclusive rights to exploit the Tricoya® brand.
    Medite is part of the Coillte group (Ireland) and a large and innovative player in the wood panel market.

About the process and product

Wood acetylation is a process which increases the amount of 'acetyl' molecules in wood, thereby changing its physical properties. When carried out to a sufficient level throughout the wood, this process protects wood from rot by making it "inedible" to most micro-organisms and fungi, without - unlike conventional treatments - making it toxic. It also greatly reduces the wood's tendency to swell and shrink, making it less prone to cracking and ensuring that, when painted, it requires dramatically reduced maintenance. They can be used as high performance panels in external and wet applications in the construction industry which are served today with tropical hardwood or man-made products.

The plant is expected to have an initial capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes of acetylated Tricoya chips per annum which will be used as feedstock for the production of high performance MDF or particle board panels. The annual production from the new plant will be used to manufacture 40,000 cubic metres of panel products in a market estimated to be in excess of 1.6million cubic metres annually.