Stalybridge chemicals company wins the industry’s top award

A STALYBRIDGE chemicals company is celebrating being named UK Chemical Company of the Year at the Chemical Industry Association (CIA) Awards.

The award is given to chemical site or company that, in the view of the judges, has been ‘the most outstanding CIA member company – demonstrating growth and a sustained contribution to the UK economy’.

Stepan UK, whose plant is on Bridge Street, manufactures surfactant (used to lower surface tension between liquids) at its Stalybridge site. Surfactant is the key ingredient in Europe’s favourite cleaning products and fabric softeners.

Mayor Janet Cooper with consort Dennis Fitzpatrick and staff from Stepan UK in Stalybridge. Photo by Howard Murphy

Over the past year, Stepan UK has achieved record growth and record production levels. The site has achieved 12 months without a single injury.

And the company has invested £3.5 million in improvements designed to increase production capacity and protect and improve safety.

Site manager George Forrest said: “For some years now we’ve been building an organisation to be proud of at Stepan Stalybridge.

“We have won numerous awards, and this was the biggest yet because it touches on all the aspects of the site that make us who we are – from process efficiency to innovation, working safely to putting our people first.

“Many of the people who work on site live in the surrounding area. We are very much a part and product of our community, and our success speaks volumes about the people we have here, many of whom have been with us for years.”

They also won the Responsible Care Award for Process Safety after implementing a range of process safety improvements that are helping to ensure staff onsite and everyone in the surrounding area are kept safe.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that there have been no reportable process safety incidents at the site for 10 years,” said George.

“We know there is never room for complacency, and we continue to do all we can to ensure the Stepan Stalybridge site remains a safe place for our workers and neighbours.”

Stepan was shortlisted in two further categories: Health Leadership and the Special at the virtual awards ceremony.

Stepan was founded in 1932 by Alfred C Stepan Jnr. in Illinois. It is a global company with more than 2,000 employees operating from 20 sites.

Stepan Stalybridge is the company’s only UK site, manufacturing surfactants for use in cleaning products and fabric softeners.

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