AKRON, OHIO (Sept. 19, 2:30 p.m. ET) — Phillips Sumika Polypropylene Co.'s plans to close a resin plant in Texas are featured in this week's Material Insights video.
The 700 million-pound-capacity plant in Pasadena, Texas, will close by the end of the year, according to officials with Houston-based Phillips Sumika. Spokesperson Melanie Samuelson cited a difficult business environment and continued losses as reasons for the closing. Some of the plant''s 60 employees may transfer to other businesses operated in Pasadena by Phillips Sumika co-owner Chevron Phillips.
The closing will mark the first time in more than two years that North America's PP capacity has been reduced. The region's annual PP demand peaked at more than 19 billion pounds in 2007, but hasn't been above 17.2 billion since then.
On a more positive note, this week's video also includes news of a $50 million expansion of Huntsman's epoxy resin plant in Alabama. The expansion is expected to create 25 new jobs at the site. Officials said epoxy demand is up as the material continues to replace aluminum and similar materials in aerospace and other markets.
A deal between Brazilian resin leader Braskem and compounder FKuR wraps up this week's video. Under terms of the deal, FKuR will make compounds at its German plant using sugarcane-based polyethylene supplied by a Braskem plant in Brazil. Those compounds will be targeted at the European market.