Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Chemicals (TCL), India, is moving ahead with the proposed restructuring of its soda ash and sodium bicarbonate plants in Northwich, Cheshire in the UK.
TCE, which is UK’s sole manufacturer and supplier of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate, proposed the restructuring of the plants owing to the rising costs of energy, according to a statement issued last month on the company’s website.
The move will see closing of TCE’s soda ash and calcium chloride factory in Winnington, Northwich, while retaining and expanding the sodium bicarbonate factory in Winnington, as well as retaining of the soda ash and sodium bicarbonate factories in Lostock. The move will lead to a loss of 220 jobs.
Martin Ashcroft, managing director of TCE, said “the energy challenge which TCE has faced is an example of how the state of European energy markets seriously threatens the ability of energy intensive manufacturing companies to compete on the world stage, and all stakeholders need to work hard to address these challenges to avoid further damage to the manufacturing base.”
“There is real regret that TCE will have to bring to an end a long history of soda ash production at the Winnington site, but energy costs have overwhelmed the viability of these plants, and restructuring the company will provide a sustainable presence in Northwich”, he added.
The closure of the plants in Winnington is anticipated to happen during the first quarter of 2014. However, it will secure the future of TCE’s remaining soda ash and sodium bicarbonate manufacturing business and around 250 direct jobs and many more associated jobs in Cheshire and the wider regional economy in the UK.
Established in 1874, the former Brunner Mond company was acquired by Tata Chemicals in 2005 (TCL), a global chemicals company headquartered in Mumbai, India. It operates from three sites in Cheshire, UK: Winnington (Northwich), Lostock (Northwich) and Middlewich.
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