Huntsman going ahead with epoxy expansion in Alabama

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 21, 2013 1:35 pm ET
Updated: February 21, 2013 1:38 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations Huntsman Corp.

THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS -- Changes at Huntsman Corp.'s Advanced Materials unit will result in job cuts at its two major global epoxy resin plants, but won't affect an ongoing expansion at the firm's epoxy plant in Alabama.

Huntsman – based in The Woodlands, Texas – now employs 350 at its epoxy plant in McIntosh, Ala., and another 330 at a similar plant in Monthey, Switzerland. After the cuts, each site will still employ more than 300, spokesman Wynne Norris said in a Feb. 21 phone interview.

"We're making what we have function more efficiently," Norris said. "There's going to be some fixed cost reduction…as we deal with pockets of undercapacity."

In a recent news release, Huntsman officials said the global program is needed because of "weak economic conditions in key global markets, combined with rising fixed costs and continued volatility in the cost of raw materials." Annual business benefits from the changes are expected to be around $70 million.

The program "is designed to ensure that the Advanced Materials business is strongly positioned to compete successfully in a changing marketplace," division president James Huntsman said in the release.

The epoxy-related cuts won't affect a $50 million expansion of the McIntosh plant, Norris said by phone. That project is expected to enhance the plant's ability to make purified epoxy resins and is expected to be complete by early 2015. A similar project doubled the capacity of the Monthey plant, but a capacity increase estimate for McIntosh was unavailable.

Demand for multifunctional epoxies to replace aluminum and other materials in aerospace and similar markets is driving the expansions, officials said. In addition to epoxies, Huntsman's Advanced Materials unit makes a wide range of specialty polymers and synthetic resins.

Huntsman's Polyurethane unit is unaffected by the changes being made in Advanced Materials, Norris said. The firm's plastic-related businesses saw mixed results in 2012, with Polyurethane improving and Advanced Materials declining.

Advanced Materials struggled in 2012, with sales dropping 3 percent to about $1.3 billion and pretax profit slipping 17 percent to $92 million. But Huntsman's PU unit saw a 2012 sales gain of more than 10 percent to almost $4.9 billion, while pretax profit soared more than 60 percent to $772 million.

Total corporate sales for Huntsman were flat at about $11.2 billion in 2012. But the firm saw its full-year profit jump almost 47 percent to $373 million.


Comments

Huntsman going ahead with epoxy expansion in Alabama

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 21, 2013 1:35 pm ET
Updated: February 21, 2013 1:38 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ferro sells another piece of its plastics business

December 19, 2014 3:33 pm ET

Ferro Corp. has sold its North American polymer additives business to a private equity firm for $154 million in cash.    More

Image

Antimicrobial polymers firm TiFiber launching pilot production in Ark.

December 19, 2014 10:58 am ET

TiFiber Inc., which makes synthetic compounds to control dangerous microorganisms, will locate a pilot production facility and its future company...    More

Image

Patel named LyondellBasell CEO

December 19, 2014 9:56 am ET

Bhavesh V. “Bob” Patel has been named CEO of Houston-based polyolefins producer LyondellBasell Industries NV, effective Jan. 12.    More

Image

Momentive to get a new name in January

December 19, 2014 9:45 am ET

Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. will change its name to Hexion Inc., effective Jan. 15.    More

Image

Thailand's SCG Chemicals buying Norwegian chemical firm Norner

December 19, 2014 9:11 am ET

Thailand's SCG Chemicals Co. Ltd. has announced it has acquired 51 percent of the shares in the independent petrochemical company Norner Holding AS fr...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events