Current and former employees of the Flint Hills Resources LP resin plant in Odessa, Texas, will meet with potential investors Jan. 15 in an attempt to prevent the 51-year-old plant from closing.
``We'd hate to see this place go away,'' said former employee Jack Westerfeldt, who worked at the site for 36 years. ``It's offered good employment for the area for a long time.''
In November, officials with Wichita, Kan.-based Flint Hills said the plant was no longer competitive and would be closed in the first half of 2009.
Westerfeldt estimated the site's current and former employees number almost 1,000. Those employees are considering forming an employee stock ownership plan, and want to work with private investors to purchase and maintain the site.
Westerfeldt was unsure what the cost of such a purchase would be, but employees have said it would cost Flint Hills Resources $100 million to take down the plant and return the land to its original condition.
In a news release, employees said one intention of the Jan. 15 meeting was to assure customers that are single-sourced with niche markets that ``there is an effort to continue to serve them.''
Flint Hills spokeswoman Katie Stavinoha said that the firm ``would listen to all interested parties.''
The plant employs 395 and has annual capacities of 440 million pounds of low density polyethylene, 350 million pounds of linear LDPE and 120 million pounds of polypropylene.