DuPont Teijin Films U.S. LP plans to shut down an extrusion line in Florence, S.C., and cut about 100 jobs.
The company, one of North America's largest producers of polyester film, will close a monolayer film line by Nov. 1, said Kevin Corby, Americas business director for the Hopewell, Va.-based joint venture. He said the company has the capacity to handle the shutdown without reducing film production.
``We're consolidating, but we're also aligning products to more effectively focus on markets that we want to better serve. We really are not losing anything,'' he said.
DuPont Co. of Wilmington, Del., and Teijin Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, own equal shares of the venture.
The line shutdown continues what Corby called a realignment of assets. The venture moved its business managers from Wilmington to Hopewell on July 1 to streamline decision making, Corby said.
The line being shut down can produce 14 million pounds of PET and polyethylene naphthalate film annually, Corby said. That production will be shifted to equipment in Hopewell and Circleville, Ohio, as well as to other lines in Florence, Corby said. Those extrusion lines had been underutilized, he said.
The company will eliminate 100 positions in Florence, primarily hourly and contract staff on the plant floor. The Florence plant currently has 420 workers.
The move also reflects a still-soft film business in North America. In a news release, DuPont Teijin President Henry Voigt said that while the company has worked to improve business performance, it must develop a business that has a sustainable future in a challenging market.
The company had expected the second half of 2003 to show a larger economic recovery in the film market, Corby said. That has not yet happened.
``We didn't get the lift we were hoping for this year,'' he said. ``We're a little disappointed but hopeful for next year. We've built that into our plans.''
Those plans include a strong investment in research and development and continued cost reduction, Corby said.
Sales for DuPont Teijin are included in figures for DuPont on Plastics News' film and sheet rankings for North America. DuPont ranked second on the list, with about $1.3 billion in relevant sales.