Officials at Huntsman Corp. have changed their minds about moving some of the firm's epoxy resin and polyurethane board production from Michigan to California.
Salt Lake City-based Huntsman had planned to move production from an East Lansing, Mich., plant - which Huntsman acquired when it bought Vantico Inc. in mid-2003 - to a similar plant in Los Angeles. But a review of the proposal led the firm to keep the Michigan plant, and its 50 jobs, in place.
``Things are always changing,'' Huntsman spokesman Don Olsen said in a phone interview. ``We began looking at the move as soon as we acquired the plant. But in the time it took to make the decision, it made more sense to leave the plant in East Lansing.''
Most of the products made at the 100,000-square-foot site are sold into the automotive market, which has a dominant presence in the Detroit area.
``It had to do with customer location and other business considerations,'' Olsen added. ``It was just more economically feasible to keep it there.''
In the first nine months of 2005, Huntsman turned a profit of $26 million, after losing more than $225 million during the same period in 2004. The firm's nine-month sales also rose 18 percent to more than $9.8 billion.
Its polymers business - including polyethylene and expanded polystyrene - and its polyurethanes operation accounted for about 40 percent of Huntsman's nine-month sales and more than half of pretax segment profit.
After more than 30 years as a private company, Huntsman went public on the New York Stock Exchange in early 2005. The firm's per-share stock price debuted around $24 and soon rose to $28 but has struggled of late. It stood at $23.40 during midday trading Feb. 1.