Oct. 09--MUMBAI -- Tata Chemicals Ltd plans to restructure its European business by closing a soda ash and calcium factory and making 220 redundancies in the UK because of rising energy costs.
Tata Chemicals Europe (TCE) a unit of Tata Chemicals, operates from three sites in Cheshire: Winnington (Northwich), Lostock (Northwich) and Middlewich.
It said it is planning to restructure the business in Northwich "in order to secure a sustainable and successful future."
The proposed restructuring would see Tata Chemical close its soda ash and calcium chloride factory in Winnington, expand a sodium bicarbonate factory in Winnington and retain its soda ash and sodium bicarbonate factories in Lostock.
This action is in response to the serious threat posed by high and rising energy prices and it would result in around 220 job losses across Winnington and Lostock operations and from support services, the company said.
"As such, TCE has commenced a 45-day period of statutory consultation with unions and employees about the proposal," it said.
The company said the closure of the Winnington plant would enable TCE to reconfigure a combined heat and power plant supplying power and steam to both Winnington and Lostock in order to make it more sustainable and reduce energy costs.
"It is hugely regrettable that we've had to announce proposed redundancies today, but it is necessary to secure a sustainable future for our business," said Martin Ashcroft, managing director of TCE.
"In the face of high and rising gas prices, we have to reconfigure our business to focus on higher-value products and reduce our energy bill in order to continue manufacturing in Northwich. We believe that this proposal will help TCE to achieve that," he said.
TCE is the UK's sole manufacturer and supplier of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate, and the market-leading manufacturer and supplier of salt.
Formerly known as Brunner, Mond and Co, TCE was founded in 1873 and was a major constituent of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) when it formed in 1926.
It was acquired by Tata Chemicals in 2006.