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

Dow reaches agreement with Third Point

November 21, 2014 9:11 am ET

Dow Chemical Co. has reached an agreement with the investment firm that has been trying to force the company to sell off some assets.More

Image

Ineos making its UK shale play

November 21, 2014 9:29 am ET

Chemical giant Ineos Group AG is planning to be the biggest player in the United Kingdom's shale gas industry.    More

Image

Total to buy majority stake in Polyblend

November 20, 2014 10:04 am ET

French oil and gas giant Total SA will buy a 68 percent stake in Germany's Polyblend GmbH, a subsidiary of Polymer-Chemie GmbH.    More

Image

Silica can replace plastic microbeads

November 19, 2014 6:00 am ET

As cosmetics and soap makers face pressure to remove plastic microbeads from their products, Evonik Industries touts its new silica-based microbeads...    More

Chase Plastics building new Indiana distribution center

November 18, 2014 11:13 am ET

Resin distributor Chase Plastics will invest $5.4 million to build a new distribution center in South Bend, Ind.    More

Market Reports

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

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

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