The visit on a lovely autumn day 2019 did not disappoint even though most of the site has been flattened the remaining buildings and engineering structures were impressive.
It took quite awhile to find the way onto site, eventually finding a dislodged slat in a length of palisade fence, I managed after stripping down to my t shirt to get through albeit with a scrawped rib cage. The things we have to do to pursue our interests!
The Associated Octel factory was built to extract bromine from seawater and turn it into an additive for petrol engines.
In 1953 a bromine and DBE production site was built at Amlwch. It was important that the seawater from which the bromine is extracted is as clean as possible, could be replenished with fresh seawater quickly and was warmed by the Gulf Stream.
At the time, petrol used in road vehicles contained lead. Engine “knocking” was a common problem, when the mixture of air and fuel didn’t burn efficiently with each detonation. This could damage engine cylinders over time. The additive produced here reduced knocking and improved engine efficiency.
As the health effects of lead in vehicle exhaust gases became better understood, unleaded petrol was developed. It was introduced to UK filling stations in the 1980s, and leaded petrol was later phased out. As demand for anti-knock additive reduced, the Octel factory diversified into other bromine products and was taken over by Great Lakes Chemical Corporation. In 2003, the corporation decided to close the works with the loss of more than 100 jobs.
The complex as was in the 1970,s