Tata Chemicals Europe confirms Cheshire plant closure

MANUFACTURER Tata Chemicals Europe has confirmed plans to close one of its Cheshire sites with the loss of 220 jobs.

The India-owned company, which acquired what was then called Brunner Mond in 2006, said by working with unions and exploring voluntary severance and redeployment it had been able to limit the number of compulsory redundancies to 75.

The soda ash manufacturing site at Winnington, which is being axed due to high energy costs, will close during the first quarter of 2014.

Tata Chemicals Europe said the restructuring would secure the future of its remaining soda ash and sodium bicarbonate manufacturing business in Northwich and around 250 direct jobs there and more in the supply chain in Cheshire and the wider region.

Managing director, Dr Martin Ashcroft commented: “We commend the unions and our employees in particular for playing a vital and constructive role in helping to develop a sustainable future, which will be focused on growth.”

He added: “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. Restructuring the company will provide a sustainable presence in Northwich.”

Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) is the UK’s sole manufacturer and supplier of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate. Brunner Mond was originally founded in 1873 and was a part of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) when it formed in 1926.