Tata Chemicals to mothball Kenya plant

Soda ash heavyweight Tata Chemicals is mothballing its Kenyan plant at Magadi, with the loss of 200 jobs. The company says increasing energy costs in recent years have made the plant unviable, despite its efforts to improve energy efficiency at the site.

Tata’s Kenyan subsidiary upgraded the plant to produce high purity soda ash (sodium carbonate) in 2011. The company affirmed its commitment to retain a presence in Kenya for the long term. Since the premium soda ash facility contributes 70% of the site’s power consumption, mothballing it will allow the firm to maintain its remaining facilities, producing lower-purity soda ash and other salts.

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