PVC maker Georgia Gulf Corp. has closed its PVC compounding plant in Tiptonville, Tenn.
Atlanta-based Georgia Gulf said the plant, which employed 57 and housed 100 million pounds of compounding capacity, closed Nov. 29.
``We considered many factors, including the capital investment required to ensure our competitiveness, in making this difficult decision,'' vinyl compounds Vice President Bill Doherty said in a news release.
Officials said customers will see no change from the Nov. 29 closing because of increased efficiency at other Georgia Gulf compounding sites. No decision had been made regarding processing equipment used in Tiptonville, spokeswoman Angie Tickle said.
The Tiptonville site produced rigid PVC compounds for a variety of markets, according to Tickle. Georgia Gulf also makes rigid PVC compounds in Gallman and Prairie, Miss., and flexible PVC compounds in Madison, Miss.
Georgia Gulf is North America's second-largest PVC compounder, with a market share of about 15 percent, trailing only PolyOne Corp. of Avon Lake, Ohio.
In North American PVC resin capacity, the firm ranks fourth with a market share of about 13 percent.
Georgia Gulf posted record sales of $596 million in the third quarter of 2004, with profit of more than $33 million. Ed Schmitt, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the firm in the third quarter ``returned to the level of earnings that we had in early 2000, prior to the economic downturn.''
For the first nine months of 2004, Georgia Gulf's sales were up more than 50 percent to almost $1.1 billion. The firm's nine-month operating income nearly tripled vs. 2003, exceeding $148 million.
Chlorovinyls - including PVC resin and compounds - generated two-thirds of Georgia Gulf's total sales and 78 percent of its operating profit in the nine-month period.