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Lubrizol Shuttering Canadian Plant

Chemical plant in Niagara Falls, Ont., will close next summer, affecting approximately 30 full-time staff and four contract workers.

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- Lubrizol Canada will close its chemical plant in Niagara Falls, Ont., next summer, affecting approximately 30 full-time staff and four contract workers.

"The plan is to wind the plant up in stages, with the final date being June 30," said general manager Bill Goodfellow.

Lubrizol was established in Niagara Falls in 1953, working with chemical additives for fuels and lubricants. The company has other facilities and employees around the world, but its Niagara Falls site is its only manufacturing facility in Canada, said Goodfellow.

A sales office will remain open in Oakville. Another division of Lubrizol, called Lubrizol Advance Materials located in Waterloo, will also remain open.

The company's headquarters is located in Wickliffe, Ohio. The Lubrizol Corporation owns and operates manufacturing facilities in 19 countries and employees about 6,900 workers.

"There will be opportunities for some of the people to work at Lubrizol facilities outside of the country," said Goodfellow.

"There will be a fair and equitable severance provided to everyone," he added.

The company also plans to help workers with job placement assistance.

Lubrizol said it will seek a buyer for the Niagara Falls site in the next couple of months.

"Our cost structure was just too high for current and anticipated business volume," said Goodfellow.

Larry Norwood, vice-president of operations for Lubrizol Additives, said in a press release the company is acting now in order to improve its "operational efficiency and effectiveness" given the changing market trends it faces as it continues "to build a stronger organization for the future."

"Our Niagara Falls employees have worked hard to keep the site viable in the face of numerous market challenges, and this decision in no way reflects the quality of their work," he said.

Mayor Ted Salci said he was extremely disappointed to receive the news from the company.

"Our first priority will be to think about the 30 employees who have been there on the job for many years and we will be working with them to help them get assistance for retraining and to find future employment," he said.

Salci said the company plans to slowly transfer the business from Niagara Falls to its other facilities over the next several months.

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