UK Blend Plant Folds


A Houghton International Inc. lubricant blending plant in Wolverhampton, U.K., is scheduled to be closed at the end of this month, a casualty of the global recession. Operations at that facility, which employs approximately 50 people, will be transferred to another Houghton plant in Manchester, U.K.

The decision was first reported Monday on the web site of the local newspaper, The Express and Star.

The Wolverhampton plant was formerly operated by D.A. Stuart Co., which Houghton acquired last year. At the time Houghton planned to keep the plant open, an official said Tuesday.

As we made the acquisition, there was no plan to close the Wolverhampton plant, said Steve Mayo, sales and marketing director for Houghton Europe. But obviously there has been a downturn in demand, and we need to consolidate operations in Manchester. He added that Houghton has invested quite a lot of money in the Manchester plant, which employs approximately 55 people.

The Wolverhampton plant makes metalworking fluids, rolling oils and other industrial lubricants. According to Mayo, Houghton offered employees jobs in Manchester, but quite a few did not want to relocate.

Houghton is headquartered in Valley Forge, Penn., and offers a wide variety of industrial lubricants, as well as chemical management services.

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