Richardson, Texas-based Performance Pipe is shuttering its Abbeville, S.C., facility as it seeks to streamline production and reduce costs.
Production will cease immediately at the plant, where Performance Pipe produced high density polyethylene pipe for many markets, including telecommunications, which has been hit hard this year. Pipe from the plant also was used in methane gas recovery, mining and oil field collection.
``Moving will take place until June or July,'' said spokeswoman Tracie Copeland. ``We're not cutting capacity; it's just doing our job better, more efficiently.''
Performance Pipe is owned by Houston-based Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP. The pipe unit was formed in the 2000 merger of Chevron Corp. and Phillips Petroleum Co. HDPE sales into noncorrugated pipe were down almost 27 percent through September, compared with the first nine months of 2000, according to Chevron Phillips' third-quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Abbeville plant had five extrusion lines and employed 45. Copeland did not disclose production capacity but said it will shift to other Performance Pipe plants along the East Coast. The firm operates one plant in Startex, S.C., about 30 miles from Abbeville, Copeland said. The company hopes to be able to relocate the workers to other plants, she said.
Earlier this year, Chevron closed its Watsonville, Calif., plant and moved that capacity to plants in Reno, Nev., and Colton, Calif.
Performance Pipe has 12 other plants throughout the United States. According to Plastics News' 2001 ranking, the unit generated about $420 million in extrusion sales and annual throughput of 600 million pounds.