Severn Trent says closed Jaguar Land Rover plant can now operate normally

LONDON (Reuters) - Water company Severn Trent said that carmaker Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) plant in central England can use water normally, hours after JLR had agreed to stop production at the site.

JLR had halted production at the car plant in central England after water supplies in Britain were disrupted by burst pipes, the carmaker and water company Severn Trent had said on Monday.

The company could not be immediately reached for comment on its when production would resume.

A JLR spokeswoman had said the company had closed its Solihull site, near Birmingham, because of a water shortage caused by a burst water main and she was unable to say when it would reopen.

“In the last 24 hours we have seen an increase in burst pipe alarms of nearly 4,000 percent caused by the big thaw,” Severn Trent said in a statement.

In London, thousands of people were left without water as the return of normal temperatures, following the worst snowstorms in Britain for nearly 30 years, caused pipes to burst.

Severn Trent said that it was also facing challenges as it worked to keep schools and hospitals open.

“Due to the recent thaw we’ve experienced, our teams are dealing with a huge number of burst pipes across our region which is putting pressure on our network,” Severn Trent had said.

The Solihull plant is one of the Indian-owned automaker’s three vehicle production sites in Britain.

The factory employs 10,000 people and usually operates 24-hours-a-day to make cars including Range Rover and Discovery sports utility vehicles, the JLR spokeswoman said.

Reporting by Alistair Smout and Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; editing by William Schomberg, Guy Faulconbridge and Cynthia Osterman