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Around 75 jobs axed as energy firm to close its only plant in Scotland

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A GLOBAL energy firm is set to axe around 75 jobs from its only plant in Scotland.

Bio-diesel producer Argent Energy has entered into talks with staff over ending its production at its base in Newarthill just outside Motherwell.

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Staff were left ‘in tears’ after news broke the Motherwell plant will closeCredit: Google Maps
Argent Energy UK Ltd In Newarthill is set to close

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Argent Energy UK Ltd In Newarthill is set to closeCredit: Google Maps

Firm bosses said external factors affecting the UK and EU markets have driven the need for “strategic change.”

It’s understood employees at the Lanarkshire plant were told on Thursday morning that their jobs were at risk.

Employees were left in tears following the bombshell announcement.

A worker told the Glasgow Times: “We were dumbfounded. It came totally out the blue and the workforce is shell-shocked, none of us seen this coming.

“There are around 75 people affected. People were leaving the meeting in tears.”

They added that they were focusing its efforts on supporting all affected employees.

The site opened in 2005 and produces 45,000 waste-based bio-diesel every year.

Their second UK base in Manchester with a third European plant in Amsterdam.

The Dutch facility is currently being expanded with the plan to triple capacity as the Scottish outlet is closed down.

A consultation process for employees at the Newarthill facility is expected to start within the next week.

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A spokesperson said: “The decision to consult on closure of the plant was not easy.

“However, market conditions that have put severe economic pressures on bio-diesel production facilities in the UK over the past two years have forced the move to ensure the continued strength and future of the business.”

Chief Executive Officer, Louise Calviou, added it was the “hardest decision” for the company and one that was “not taken lightly.”

She said: After careful consideration of market conditions and our strategic goals for global decarbonisation efforts, we believe it is a necessary step we need to take.”

The company say that unprecedented competition from imported Chinese bio-diesel that benefits from state economic support and subsidies have badly hampered its ambitions. 

It also said it has suffered post-Brexit from the inability for the UK to import category 1 tallow – the main raw materials that Argent uses – from the EU due regulations.

Read more on the Scottish Sun

It comes as a worldwide engineering firm based in Scotland is set to axe around 250 jobs.

Bosses at EnerMech announced the crushing news that they would be axing five per cent of their workforce.

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