Tate & Lyle PLC said Thursday that it would spend about $175 million to mothball its Splenda-brand sucralose plant in McIntosh.
The British company said Wednesday that it is closing the 10-year-old facility by March, laying off about 60 workers.
The company will shift all sucralose production to its newer Singapore plant, saying that a breakthrough that raised productivity by more than 25 percent allows it to supply all global demand with just one plant.
Chief Executive Iain Ferguson told analysts on a conference call Thursday that the company expects to lay off about half of the plant's 120 workers while transferring many of the process engineers to other facilities.
It will keep the remainder as a "core group" that could restart the McIntosh plant if sucralose demand grows faster than the production capacity of the Singapore plant.
By JEFF AMY