Wellington Scoop

Z Energy closing its chemical manufacturing factory in Gracefield next year

News from BusinessDesk
Z Energy, the service station chain slated for a listing later this year, will shut its chemical manufacturing plant in Gracefield next March after failing to find a buyer for the plant.

The Wellington-based company will keep the plant open until the end of March after reaching an agreement with a major customer, it said in a statement. The plant has been on the market for two years, when Z inherited in the purchase Shell’s downstream transport fuels business.

“Our Gracefield operation has found it increasingly difficult to remain competitive and, in this context, we cannot see an improvement in conditions which would make the plant viable,” said Lindis Jones, Z Energy’s commercial general manager. “While this is clearly unwelcome news for the eight people who work in the plant, the deal we have been able to reach with the plant’s largest customer does provide nine further months for them to plan and make alternative arrangements.”

The exit comes as Z’s owners, Infratil and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, prepare the company for an initial public offer in the third quarter this year.

Z will look to redeploy staff at other operations where it can, and hasn’t made any final decision on what to do with the land or assets, it said.