North-East political spectrum disappointed by plant closure decision

The Northern Echo: Fiona Hall, Liberal Democrat MEP for the North-East, says she is saddened by Lotte's announcement Fiona Hall, Liberal Democrat MEP for the North-East, says she is saddened by Lotte's announcement

THE decision to close a North-East chemicals plant has been met with disappointment by members of the region's political spectrum.

Lotte Chemical UK, in Wilton, near Redcar, is shutting its pure terephthalic acid (PTA) factory after 32 years.

It says the it has been forced to reluctantly make the move after facing increased competition from China and falling market prices.

Fiona Hall, Liberal Democrat MEP for the North-East, said: “I met with the Lotte chief executive at the Wilton site just a few weeks ago.

“While it was clear the company faced a challenging global environment, I'm surprised and saddened they no longer feel the plant has a future.

“Jobs losses are always painful, but it is especially difficult at this time of year.

“I hope the highly-skilled and well regarded staff at Lotte are given all the support possible to find new roles.”

Ian Swales, Redcar MP, said he was upset by the closure plans, but was relieved Lotte's PET expansion was continuing.

Anna Turley, Labour parliamentary candidate for Redcar, said she was disappointed.

She said: “This is a really sad announcement, and my thoughts are with the workers threatened with losing their jobs just before Christmas.

“We must also remember all those who worked so hard to rescue and maintain the plant.

“This is an important industry for Teesside and a key player in the UK's global role in petrochemicals and manufacturing.”

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