A global energy firm has been blasted by its workforce after a bombshell decision to close its only Scottish plant.

Biodiesel producer Argent Energy is set to shut its site in Newarthill near Motherwell - leading to the loss of around 75 jobs.

Bosses say external factors affecting the UK and EU markets have driven a need for 'strategic change'.

One worker, whose identity we are protecting, said: "Rumours started a few weeks ago that the entire plant was being closed down by the owners, but nobody believed it as it would have meant taking all of the jobs and industry out of the area.

"Then some colleagues of mine noticed members of the management team reaching out to people on social media, asking about job opportunities.

"Last Thursday we were then told to attend a meeting the following day and our worst fears were confirmed. The plug is being pulled and people are rightly angry and upset, especially as the company has said it will be continuing its operations in England and scaling up what it is doing in the Netherlands."

The man, who has worked for a number of years at the plant, says the impact of the shock move will be felt throughout the local area.

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He added: "Lots of businesses nearby are connected in some way with Argent, and this will have a huge knock-on effect. Argent touts itself as a major part of the Scottish recycling and renewables sector, reporting profits year on year, so how can bosses justify closing a site and putting so many skilled workers on the breadline while expanding elsewhere?

"At best, it is utterly heartless in a place that has already lost some of its biggest employers in recent years. It is a real slap in the face."

READ MORE: Jobs blow as Argent Energy set to shut site in Newarthill

The firm says that unprecedented competition from imported Chinese biodiesel that benefits from state economic support and subsidies have badly hampered its ambitions - despite plans to triple capacity in Amsterdam as the plug is pulled on the Scottish operation.

A spokesperson for Argent said: "The decision to consult on closure of the plant was not easy. However, market conditions that have put severe economic pressures on biodiesel production facilities in the UK over the past two years have forced the move to ensure the continued strength and future of the business."

Chief Executive Officer, Louise Calviou, added: “This has been the hardest decision for us to make and is one we have not taken lightly. After careful consideration of market conditions and our strategic goals for global decarbonisation efforts, we believe it is a necessary step we need to take."

Another worker has slammed management for the way the bombshell news was delivered.

They added: "Nobody really saw this coming. There have been whispers, but the company seemed to be thriving and was always in the news as it expanded down south and in Holland.

"We have now been told we are entering a consultation, but what is the point of that when the plant is closing? The die seems to be already cast and it is now a box-ticking and paper shuffling exercise as far as workers are concerned.

"The way it has been handled has left long-serving and hard working employees feeling really let down.

"This is a big employer pulling the plug right out the blue, people understandably feel frustrated and angry."

The Glasgow Times contacted Stephanie Callaghan, SNP MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill - whose constituency covers Newarthill where the plant is based - to ask her of any plans to speak to the firm or try and force a u-turn, but received no response at the time of going to press.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: "It is very disappointing to learn of this announcement. This will be a concerning time for the staff and their families and supporting affected staff members must be the immediate priority.

“Should any employees be facing redundancy, the Scottish Government will provide support through our Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiative. Our PACE team is contacting the company to offer PACE support in the unfortunate event this should be necessary.”