Russia in sights of chemical firm

MP Paul Maynard at AGC Chemicals
MP Paul Maynard at AGC Chemicals
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A CHEMICAL factory recorded its most profitable year in 2011 – and is looking to Russia to further increase its trade.

AGC Chemicals, on the Hillhouse Business Park in Thornton, has been producing Fluon PTFE, the UK competitor brand to the household name Teflon, since 1953.

Following a successful PTFE manufacturing joint venture in Japan during the 1980’s the Thornton company received a £30m investment from AGC in Tokyo for a new plant which opened in 2007.

The firm now employs 180 people and is a subsidiary of the Asahi Glass Company of Tokyo, Japan.

Its chemicals can be found in products including non-stick and corrosion-resistant coatings, automotive and aerospace cable insulation, DIY products, household appliances, and oil seals.

Paul Maynard, MP for Balckpool North and Cleveleys, recently met chief executive officer Hiroyki Okuno and directors of the firm before taking a tour of the manufacturing facility.

The company set up a commercial office five years ago in Amsterdam and a representative office is currently being set up in Moscow to promote further sales growth.

Mr Maynard said: “I was delighted to visit and was indeed honoured to be met by Chief Executive Office, Okuno-sans.

“I was fascinated to hear that the life of many of the world’s high-tech plastics starts in Thornton.

“I was also interested to hear how this country competes with others in terms of welcoming business and the environment that we operate.

“There are a number of issues I will raise with ministers.

“I am always happy to visit any business in my constituency, after all they provide the jobs and investment that we all rely on.”

The firm pressed its desire to see modern languages, physics and chemistry to be on the curriculum in schools to ensure a pool of future employees, and called for improvements to the A585 as the only major route to and from the plant.

The firm’s products can also be found in architectural constructions, including the Burj al Arab Hotel in Dubai.