The Owatonna operation of Chart Industries will close June 1, affecting 65 workers.

The Ohio-based company informed Owatonna city officials and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development of its decision in late March.

“A significant decline in orders for products produced at Chart’s plant … in Owatonna requires us to cease production at that facility,” Chart human resources director Cheryl Kotek wrote in a letter to the state’s Dislocated Worker Program.

Chart makes engineered equipment for the industrial gas, energy and biomedical industries.

The company said layoffs will begin May 1 and that all employees will receive full pay and benefits until the date of their termination.

Chart’s operation in New Prague is not affected by the Owatonna closing.

Company spokesman Ken Webster said the decision to close the Owatonna plant “was part of a companywide cost-cutting effort.”

In a comment to investors in February, Chart CEO Sam Thomas said the company has initiated a plan to reduce costs by $20 million and head count by 5 percent in the face of “dynamic energy prices and the stronger U.S. dollar,” which are affecting sales.

David Phelps