Olin Corp. said Wednesday it plans to shut down its Canadian chemical manufacturing business in Dalhousie, N.B., by August.

The company, which produces chemicals and ammunition, will shut down its chlorine, caustic soda and sodium hypochlorite operations by early June and its sodium chlorate operations in August.

A caustic soda storage and distribution terminal will begin operating in June at the Dalhousie facility, the company said.

About 100 positions are expected to be lost through the closures, including 50 unionized jobs.

Pat Roy of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union said today's announcement came as a surprise.

"The electricity power rate is so high here in New Brunswick. It's not economical for them to keep going so they decided to shut down," Roy told CBC News.

The town of Dalhousie has been struggling after more than 330 people lost their jobs when the Abitibi-Bowater paper mill shut down operations in January.

Based in Clayton, Mo., Olin expects to incur cash expenses of $3 million US in 2008 associated with the shutdown, and expects to realize annual cost savings between $8 million to $10 million US.

On the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Olin rose 18 cents to finish at $18.67 US.