AN MSP is demanding an urgent showdown with bosses of an energy firm over plans to close its only Scottish plant with the loss of around 75 jobs.

Stephanie Callaghan has written to management at Argent Energy calling for a face-to-face summit to discuss the bombshell announcement that they are set to shut their base at Newarthill near Motherwell.

The SNP MSP, whose Uddingston and Bellshill constituency takes in the site, says she will also rally the Scottish Government to see what it can do to try and rescue the roles.

Glasgow Times: Stephanie Callaghan MSPStephanie Callaghan MSP (Image: Supplied)

Ms Callaghan exclusively told the Glasgow Times: “My heart goes out to this loyal workforce suddenly faced with the prospect of redundancy.

“I know this is particularly devastating news for those who are already struggling during the current cost of living crisis. I share the deep concerns expressed by distraught families and employees, and I will be urging the Scottish Government to explore all possibilities for rescuing the jobs at Argent.”

We broke the news of the devastating plan on Monday, with bosses at the biodiesel producer blaming external factors affecting UK and EU markets following Brexit for the shock decision.

Glasgow Times: The plant near Motherwell is facing closureThe plant near Motherwell is facing closure (Image: Gordon Terris)

The firm also says that unprecedented competition from imported Chinese companies which benefit from state economic support and subsidies have badly hampered its ambitions - despite plans to ramp up production at its plant in Amsterdam as the axe falls on the Scottish operation.

Ms Callaghan added: “This is yet another example of UK industry being undermined and disadvantaged by Brexit.

“The UK Government must urgently address the issues highlighted by Argent Energy, including subsidised biodiesel from China and the US, HMRC duties, and the barriers to importing.

“No UK plant should find themselves disadvantaged by Westminster policies and decision-making. We should instead be supporting expansion and growth of the UK biofuel sector rather than hampering it.”

Argent, which uses waste fats and oils to decarbonise transport, said that it had faced "severe economic pressures" since 2022.

The Newarthill site, which has the capacity to produce up to 50 million litres of biodiesel a year, was the company's first location in 2005, before it later expanded to Cheshire and the Netherlands.

Ms Callaghan has now called on bosses at Argent to sit down with her in a bid to try and devise a way to save the plant.

READ MORE: Workers slam bosses at Argent Energy over handling of shock closure announcement

The frustrated MSP says its closure would not only cause hardship to the people who work there, but deliver a crushing blow to the wider Lanarkshire economy.

She added: “The ripple effect on the area should not be underestimated. I have reached out to Argent and I await a response to my request to meet with senior management.

“I will continue to keep local people updated and would urge anyone impacted by this news to contact my office directly for support.”

Marion Fellows, MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, has also described the move – which was only shared with the workforce on Friday - as a "devastating blow" to North Lanarkshire.

Glasgow Times: Marion Fellows MPMarion Fellows MP (Image: Supplied)

She said: "If this goes ahead it will be a devastating blow to the whole of the region.

"It will come as no consolation to this excellent workforce that the company is blaming external market forces. These are jobs that North Lanarkshire and Scotland can’t afford to lose.”

Argent Chief Executive Officer, Louise Calviou, told the Glasgow Times that the decision had been a difficult one to make.

She added: “This has been the hardest decision for us 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."

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said they were ‘very disappointed’ to learn of the announcement.

They added: “This will be a concerning time for the staff and their families and supporting affected staff members must be the immediate priority.”