Vantaa, Finland-based Uponor Corp. on Sept. 10 shut down its cross-linked polyethylene pipe-making plant in St. John, New Brunswick, as part of its global cost-cutting efforts.
The 60,000-square-foot plant employed 80. Uponor said it plans to lay off 120 additional employees from its European and North American operations.
The closure leaves only one North American plant in the company's portfolio its 180,000-square-foot regional headquarters in Apple Valley, Minn., where the company employs 427. Uponor is transferring the extrusion capacity in St. John to Apple Valley, said Ingrid Mattsson, brand management senior manager, in a Sept. 11 telephone interview.
``It was very strategic and thought out not a decision made quickly or lightly,'' she said.
Uponor cited increased shipping and transportation costs from the relatively remote Canadian location. ``It was simply the bottom-line economics of it,'' Mattsson said.
Uponor owns the building and plans to sell it, she said. The company has 11 other plants globally.
``We've been successfully managing our company throughout the market's downturn,'' Anders Tollsten, executive vice president of Uponor North America, said in a news release. ``In order to respond to the continued economic conditions and increased transportation costs, we made the decision to consolidate our product capabilities in North America.''
Uponor makes and sells PEX pipe for fire and radiant heating and cooling systems. The company employs 4,700 worldwide and is publicly traded on the OMX Nordic Exchange in Helsinki, Finland.