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100 jobs hang in the balance as Teesside plant halts production

Ensus' Wilton site is the UK's largest bio-ethanol plant Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The future of a hundred chemical jobs on Teesside and many more in the supply chain are in doubt after a major fuel plant announced plans to pause production.

Ensus at Wilton near Redcar, will halt its manufacturing process at the end of November.

The company can't confirm when it will resume.

Ensus' Wilton site is the UK's largest bio-ethanol plant Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Ensus' Wilton site is the UK's largest bio-ethanol plant, a product which is used in petrol. But a fall in the global price for ethanol means the cost of making it at Ensus isn't worth the price they get when it's sold on. As a result the plant is pausing production.

The government is consulting on plans to increase the amount of ethanol in petrol to make it cleaner.

Ensus' Wilton site is the UK's largest bio-ethanol plant Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The plan would also increase demand for the product, helping firms like Ensus.

There are calls here on Teesside tonight for that to go ahead.

The halt in production will also affect the supply chain. Ethanol is produced by distilling wheat which is supplied by farmers.

That supply chain is 2000 people strong.

100 people work at Ensus. This isn't the first time the plant has has to put a pause on production.

A spokesman says that in the past, workers were kept on with full pay until production resumed. He believes that will be the case again but can't confirm it.

The Tees Valley mayor said it's worrying for workers ahead of Christmas. He's meeting with the company directors next week.