Guy Roberts, Managing director and CEO of Penrice.

Guy Roberts, Managing director and CEO of Penrice. Photo: David Mariuz

THE chemicals company Penrice is to stop soda ash production in Adelaide with the loss of up to 60 jobs.

The company said on Friday the decision had been forced by increasingly difficult trading conditions, including the introduction of the federal government's carbon tax.

It said in the face of the high Australian dollar, higher taxation and increasing energy and labour costs, imported soda ash continued to be 40 per cent cheaper.

''Penrice does not see any significant change to these factors occurring in the foreseeable future,'' the company said.

''The uncertainty associated with these factors, such as whether some are more structural than cyclical, has led the company to decide to import soda ash rather than manufacture it.''

Production will stop in June, but the company will continue to produce sodium bicarbonate.

Penrice said the loss of jobs was regrettable and it would consult employees to explore all options including potential redeployment and redundancy payments.

The South Australian Liberal senator Simon Birmingham said the loss of the country's only soda ash production facility was another blow to local manufacturing.

''Penrice has specifically highlighted the carbon tax and the increased costs it has imposed as a direct cause of this closure,'' Senator Birmingham said.

AAP