Jobs under threat at BOC Gases depot in Ipswich

Gases company BOC is reviewing its UK operations.
Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA

Gases company BOC is reviewing its UK operations. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA - Credit: PA

Around 50 jobs are thought to be at risk at the Ipswich depot of BOC Gases under a review of the company’s operations in the UK.

BOC, which employs a total of about 3,200 people in the UK and Ireland at around 30 sites, supplies specialist gases to the industrial, healthcare and hospitality sectors.

The company says the review has been prompted by the impact on UK manufacturing of the slowdown in the global economy and is expected to result in job losses, although it has not revealed the number of people or locations likely to be affected.

A spokeswoman for BOC UK & Ireland said: “In response to the deepening slowdown that is affecting the global economy and the UK manufacturing sector, and subsequent changes in customer requirements, BOC is carrying out a review of its operations in the UK.

“We anticipate this may result in a number of job losses which would be managed in accordance with our long-established consultation procedures.”

She added: “We regret any impact that this will have on affected employees and will seek to mitigate the impact where possible, but the changes are necessary to ensure we have a business that remains sustainable in the longer-term.

“We will not be able to comment further until all organisational impacts have been identified and people informed.”

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BOC is part of the gases business of the German-based Linde Group which last year generated turnover of 15.2billion euros (about £12.2bn) – out of a group total of 17.94bn euros (£14.45bn) – and an operating profit of 4.15bn euros (£3.34bn), of which the UK operation is understood to have contributed around £300million.

Formerly known as the British Oxygen Company, the firm was formed in 1886 by Arthur and Leon Brin, who took out the first patent for separating oxygen, and was acquired by Linde in 2006.