• Bennington Energizer plant not on closure list
     | November 10,2012

    The Energizer battery and flashlight plant in St. Albans will close by September, according to company officials, costing about 165 people their jobs.

    However, there are no plans to shut down the Bennington Energizer plant, according to Lawrence Miller, secretary of commerce and community development.

    On Thursday, Energizer Holdings announced a restructuring plan that would shut three plants, including the one in St. Albans, and streamline three other plants — one in the United States and two international sites.

    Miller said Thursday that Energizer representatives told some of Vermont’s senior officials about the projected plant closing. Miller said one of his first concerns, following the news about the St. Albans site, was whether Bennington would be affected.

    However, Miller said Vermont officials were assured there were no plans to make cuts to the workforce or close the plant.

    Company spokesman Ken Fields said people these days need fewer of the lithium batteries that St. Albans has been making since 1989.

    He said more people are using smartphones with rechargeable batteries, and they’re not using multiple devices like a pager and a camera.

    The Bennington plant makes small batteries that are used primarily for hearing aids and wristwatches.

    Calls and emails to Energizer asking for information about the future of the Bennington plant and the number of people who work there were not returned Friday.

    In a news release, Energizer announced it would also be closing plants in Missouri and Malaysia and streamlining plants in North Carolina, Canada and China in an effort to cut about 10 percent, or about 1,500 employees, of its workforce.

    Through the restructuring, Energizer expects to save about $200 million.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    patrick.mcardle @rutlandherald.com

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