Wednesday 15th February 2012 2 Comments
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Exide Technologies, which operates the country’s only battery recycling plant, will close its Petone centre at the end of next March, shedding 40 local jobs at the plant.
The closure comes after Exide failed in its bid last year to overturn a Ministry of Economic Development decision granting export recycling permits to send used batteries to developing nations like the Philippines and Korea. At the time, Exide said it was missing out on customers because of the export permits.
“As a result of the New Zealand Court of Appeal’s decision to permit the continued and unlimited export of used lead-acid batteries from New Zealand, we have concluded that it is necessary to close our facility,” John Cowpe, managing director of Exide Australasia said in a statement. “Without a sufficient amount of raw material coming into the facility, we are unable to effectively and profitably operate the business.”
A limited number of employees will temporarily remain at the plant to ensure proper closure and maintenance of the facility. Exide is working with the Wellington City Council to ensure that all appropriate environmental requirements are met through the decommissioning process.
“We are disappointed with the court’s decision and the negative impact on the citizens of New Zealand who no longer have a recycling facility in their country,” Cowpe said.
In August, Exide announced it would sue Power and Environment Minister Nick Smith for granting the export permits and failing under its international obligations to limit the global transport of hazardous waste. It’s unclear whether they are proceeding with that action.
Exide’s profit plunged by 72 percent to $2.1 million in the 12 months ended March 31 2011. It lost more than $18 million of annual revenue, with sales of $52.1 million in the period.
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