JOBS and production are on the rise at a chemical company in South Tyneside – despite difficult global trading conditions.
Staff numbers at Rohm and Haas in Ellison Street, Jarrow, have risen to 65, and the site’s production levels have increased by 30 per cent in this year.
While admitting he does not have “a crystal ball” for the future, site leader Ben Armijo hopes the upward trend will continue into next year.
He said: “Globally, economic conditions are presenting industry as a whole with a continuing challenge.
“Some companies have had to reduce production, while others have seen site closures, so we are delighted that our production rose in 2012.
“We believe this increase is sustainable, and we hope to keep both plants at Jarrow operational for the foreseeable future.
“Obviously, no one has a crystal ball, but we have made organisational changes and improved efficiency, and at the moment, business is healthy and our products are still in demand.”
Rohm and Haas was taken over by US-based industrial giant, the Dow Chemical Company in 2009, in a deal agreed by the European Commission.
But Dow later closed one of the production lines at the borough chemical site and outsourced the work.
The move sparked fears for the 58-strong workforce, after successive falls in staffing levels from a peak of 200, a decade earlier.
But Mr Armijo said seven staff have been recruited in the last year, as a result of increased production levels.
Two plants operate at the Jarrow site, producing biocides for use in a variety of markets, including paint and coatings, adhesives and sealants, as well as the marine industry.