Metal tubing plant closing in Arnprior, Ont.

A metal tubing plant in Arnprior, Ont., is going to be shut down by the end of next year, according to what Swedish company Sandvik told town officials.

160 people work at Sandvik Materials Technology plant

Sandvik Materials Technology Canada has been operating in Arnprior, Ont., since the 1970s. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

A metal tubing plant in Arnprior, Ont., is going to be shut down by the end of next year.

The closure will affect 160 people who work at the Sandvik Materials Technology plant that has operated in the eastern Ontario town since 1975. 

"Our thoughts go out to them and we're hopeful that they will get relocated into other good jobs in the area. Anytime you lose an industry of 40 years it's certainly a blow to the community," said David Reid, the outgoing mayor of Arnprior, west of Ottawa.

"The good news is there are other local industries that are hiring. So we're hopeful that will be a positive for the current employees and I guess the next task is to find another employer that can move into that facility."

Arnprior Mayor David Reid says the next steps will be finding new employment for the plant's employees and a new occupant for the building. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

The Swedish-based multinational company has plants across Canada and around the world.

The Arnprior plant makes steel tubing for the nuclear, aerospace and automotive industries.

Focusing on the U.S.

In a statement, Sandvik said it has decided to consolidate its North American operations in Scranton, Pa., where it already has a factory and distribution centre.

Canada's steel industry has been caught in an escalating trade dispute since the U.S. imposed 25 per cent tariffs on imported steel and 10 per cent on imported aluminum this summer.

"That was my speculation, initially," Reid said.

"We were told that this wasn't the case, that this was consolidation that had been looked at for the past 12 months."

Sandvik said it is in talks with employees, the union and third parties to provide support to the people affected.

"A decision to close a unit that has served the market for many years, with highly committed management and employees is never easy to make," wrote spokesperson Martin Blomgren in an email.

"We are committed to provide full support to the affected employees in Arnprior during this process."