Release time : 2015-06-15 13:11:40
AROUND 280 jobs hang in the balance after two major employers announced they had been hit by the economic downturn.
Almost 200 jobs at the Petroplus oil refinery, in Seal Sands, and 80 jobs at NSK Bearings, in Brindley Road, Peterlee, could be axed.
Petroplus bosses have revealed an operating loss for 2007/8 of $388m, equivalent of ¡ê262m.
The Swiss-based compaADVERTISEMENTny stated that it would "evaluate strategic alternatives, including the potential sale or conversion to a terminal or storage facility".
A change to a storage facility could see 200 jobs go at the plant, which was bought from ICI in December 2000.
NSK Bearings, which makes water pumps for car firms, could axe up to 80 jobs, with 50 of those compulsory redundancies.
The firm has seen their orders half over the past 12 months.
Human resources manager Steve Metcalfe said: "We have already implemented a range of measures as a consequence.
"Those included reduced overtime working, altered shift patterns, reduced working time, removal of agency staff, extended Christmas shutdown and an additional week's holiday this month.
"But we can see no improvement in demand this year and the possibility that things might get even worse.
"We have to consider further action to protect our core capabilities and efficiencies for when the market does pick up."