75 jobs to go as Taranaki methanol producer Methanex plans to close plant

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One of Taranaki’s big industrial players, Methanex, has confirmed 75 jobs will be lost after its decision to close one of its plants, citing an inability to secure gas supply as the reason for shutting it down.

The Methanex plant in Waitara Valley

The Methanex plant in Waitara Valley. Photo: Google maps

The methanol producer decided to mothball its Waitara Valley Plant in February, citing an inability to secure gas supply as the reason for shutting down the plant.

Methanex New Zealand managing director Dean Richardson said: “This has been an extremely difficult process for our staff and their families, and we would like to thank them all for their commitment, service and professionalism throughout their time with Methanex”.

New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom said Methanex generated $800 million a year in export earnings and made up 10 percent of the local economy.

Those losing their jobs were: “really high skilled people, they were good high-paying jobs, and we’ll be doing what we can working with MSD and some of the sector participants to see how we can support those families”, Holdom said.

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Earlier, Methanex said it would retain some activities at the site, such as truck loading to supply the local market.

Two methanol production plants at Motunui will continue to operate and supply methanol to local and global markets.

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