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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 March, 2004, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Chemical plant to be closed down
Among the products the factory produces is shrink film for bottles
A chemical company has announced it is shutting its site on Teesside, where 75 people work.

In February, American firm Eastman Chemical Company said it was looking at the future of its plant in Hartlepool.

On Tuesday, it announced it is to close the site after consultation with unions and employees, and to consolidate production to other facilities.

The company said the aim was to create a more integrated and efficient global manufacturing structure.

President of the company's Eastman division, Jim Rogers, said: "The decision to close the Hartlepool site was a difficult one because of the impact on the dedicated and highly professional employees we have at the site."

'Constructive support'

Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibres and plastics worldwide. It employs around 15,000 people in more than 30 countries and had sales of $5.8bn (3.2bn) in 2003.

The Hartlepool site manufactures a variety of copolyesters.

The company will transfer production to its headquarters in Tennessee in the United States and some production could also be moved to facilities in Malaysia.

Hartlepool site manager Joe Bologna said: "I've been extremely impressed by the constructive support of all employees and the union during the consultation process.

"Unfortunately we were not able to identify acceptable options other than closure that met Eastman's need to improve its overall global manufacturing structure."


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