Global role for Rob sees him bow out from Stallingborough site

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 3 Jan 2019

The man at the helm of Stallingborough’s Cristal plant for the past three years, Rob Sarracini, has taken on a new global role.

His departure from the high profile Humber Bank titanium dioxide producer has seen former apprentice Gavin Jones take the role of acting site director, ahead of a potential sixth change of ownership in 65 years.

As extensively reported, Saudi Arabian-owned Cristal is the subject of a prolonged take-over by US giant Tronox, which was first made public in February 2017.

The year end saw major steps taken to appease legislators who objected to the £1.4 billion deal, with the NYSE-listed chemical and mining giant agreeing a sale of two US manufacturing plants to Ineos, to ease anti-competition fears as it increases its production capacity globally.

Mr Sarracini, who had welcomed the acquisition as a move to allow it to “compete more aggressively in the global marketplace and provide even better service to our customers” arrived on the South Bank in October 2015, following a challenging period for the whitening pigment producer, during which it had restructured with the loss of 60 jobs. It was a first UK posting for the Australian, who went on to oversee the 160-hectare site’s 65th anniversary last summer.

Read more: Immingham and DFDS primed for no-deal Brexit with Government contract

Then he praised the 300-plus staff and contractor support for “working very hard on the journey to ‘world class’ to set the site up for the next 65 years,” and urged them to get “excited about what lies ahead”.

The chemical engineer has been with the Saudi Arabian giant for 17 years, and had arrived in Stallingborough after stints in the Middle East and Houston, Texas.

He has now taken on an operational excellence role, from his native Perth. 

Cristal's Stallingborough plant has an annual production capacity of 165,000 tonnes of titanium dioxide, and is the largest of its type in Europe.

Mr Jones joined the senior management team five years ago, and has a quarter of a century’s experience under his belt.

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