CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Chemours chemical company has announced it will shut down a production unit in Belle, laying off 57 employees.

“This was a difficult decision, made following a thorough review and analysis of the line of business,” stated Robin Ollis-Stemple, spokeswoman for Chemours.

The 57 positions being eliminated are in the methylamines and methylamides production section. The company says increased cost to import the raw materials needed for production is the major factor in the closing.

The plant is located at the old DuPont property in Belle. Chemours was founded in July 2015 as a spin-off from DuPont. There are 207 employees at the Belle location.

The 723-acre former DuPont site is situated along the Kanawha River and has manufactured various specialty and agricultural products since 1926.

Other tenants at the Belle site also include Kureha, Optima Chemical Group, and Sentinel Transportation.

Kanawha County commissioners said they were very upset by the Chemours announcement.

“It’s a sad day for Kanawha County and the town of Belle,” Carper said. “I’m heartbroken to hear 57 hard-working chemical operators will lose their jobs.”

Commissioner Ben Salango made reference to employment that has shrunk in chemical manufacturing in the Kanawha Valley over the years.

“The Upper Kanawha Valley has been devastated time and time again by the loss of employment in the labor industry,” he said.

“We will continue to strive to provide economic strength, stability and growth in that area.”

Commissioner Hoppy Shores also expressed concern about the job losses.

“News like this never sits lightly on the hearts of the commission,” Shores stated. “My thoughts are with the 57 employees and their families.”

 

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