PolyOne Corp. will close plants in Bethlehem, Pa.; Corona, Calif.; and Houston by the end of next year, moving closer to its goal of closing one-third of its manufacturing sites.
The Cleveland company announced the news June 21. Closing those sites, which employ 200, will provide annual pretax savings of $12 million beginning in 2003. The Bethlehem and Corona sites had produced engineering-resin-based compounds, while the Houston plant produced compounds based on polypropylene and thermoplastic elastomers.
Production from those sites will be transferred to four plants - in Avon Lake and Macedonia, Ohio; Dyersburg, Tenn.; and Seabrook, Texas - that will serve PolyOne's engineered materials customers. PolyOne has begun improvements at the four sites that will total more than $12 million and add as many as 65 new jobs and nine more compounding lines. The firm plans to invest another $33 million to improve other sites.
PolyOne also is studying a plan to add engineered materials compounding at one of its remaining West Coast sites, which include Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif.; Glendale, Ariz.; and Yerington, Nev.
``I think the important thing here is that we're investing in the plastics industry at a time when few other companies are doing so,'' PolyOne spokesman Chris Farage said.
With the latest three plant closings, PolyOne has completed its evaluation of its engineered materials unit. Any future closings will come from its PVC compounds and color compounds units.
PolyOne's film business, which previously announced the elimination of 55 administrative and manufacturing jobs by the end of the year, will not be affected by future cuts.
PolyOne, which leads U.S. compounders with a market share of 18 percent, lost more than $21 million in the first quarter. The firm had posted a profit of $26 million in the same period in 2000.