Chester County plant to lay off 45

CHESTER — Chemtrade Logistics is stopping production by the end of year of apowder-based chemical used to bleach paper, a move that will lay off abouthalf of the workers at the western Chester County plant.

About 45 employees at the Leeds plant will receive severance packages fromthe company, whose officials said Wednesday the rising costs of rawmaterials, mainly sodium formate, used to make the powder is to blame forthe layoffs.

“The plant was run well,” said Stephen Klaeren, manufacturing manager at theLeeds site. “The cause of shutting it down was external — the rising costsof raw materials.”

The Leeds plant makes both powder and liquid sodium hydrosulphite; theliquid production will continue, Klaeren said.