MORE than 70 jobs could be lost if a Basildon factory closes.

Bosses at General Electric Energy Services, in Crompton Close, Basildon – part of the giant multinational General Electric group – have warned a 30-day consultation has been launched on the future of the site.

If the company decided to go ahead, the factory will close in December next year, with the loss of 75 jobs.

The area’s MP, John Baron, said: “I am disappointed at the news and sad for the staff.

“I have been in contact with the company to make sure full assistance is being given to the staff.

“I have sent letters out to the staff. It was a bit of a surprise, because it is such a big company and it is a great shame it’s happening.

“It is important support is given to the staff.”

One worker at the factory, who did not want to be named, said: “It was a total shock to us all. We did not see it coming.

“None of the staff is happy. Shock is the ultimate feeling we are all experiencing.”

A spokesman for the parent company, General Electric, confirmed it had launched a consultation on redundancies.

She said: “The 30-day consultation is into whether the Basildon centre should close. The redundancies would be mainly in the production side.

“The decisions are being made because of the economic uncertainty. Business has been very challenging for our European customers and demand for our services has fallen. Because of this we are now operating at over-capacity.

“We are offering support to all the staff and working with them individually to look for relocation opportunities.”

The company makes and repairs hi tech equipment such wind and gas turbines and equipment for power stations.

General Electric, an American multi-national, was listed as the sixth largest firm in the US in 2011.

The company employees 18,000 people in the UK on 60 sites.