Flint Hills Resources will close its polypropylene resin plant in Marysville, Mich., and transfer production to a site in Texas.
The closing will take place over the next six months and will eliminate 75 jobs, officials with Wichita, Kan.-based Flint Hills said in a Nov. 7 news release. Affected employees can apply for other open positions with Flint Hills owner Koch Industries. Koch currently has 3,000 open positions.
Flint Hills also is open to offers to buy the plant, which is one of the smallest in North America, with annual capacity estimated at 185 million pounds.
“The decision to cease operations at Marysville is not a reflection on our employees or their efforts,” plant manager Wayne Griffin said. “We've worked hard to improve operations but despite some successes, the plant has struggled to remain competitive overall.”
Flint Hills president and CEO Brad Razook added that the firm “sees opportunities to improve integration of our Longview polypropylene plant with our propylene production facilities, which we believe will strengthen our current polypropylene business and allow for future growth.”
The Longview plant has estimated annual PP capacity of 750 million pounds. Announced North American expansions of new propylene monomer capacity — via propane dehydrogenation (PDH) technology — has some market watchers expecting new PP capacity for the region as well, but few such moves have been announced so far.
Flint Hills acquired the Marysville plant in 2007 when it bought most of Huntsman Corp.'s polymers and olefins business in a deal valued at more than $750 million. A PP/polyethylene plant in Odessa, Texas, acquired in that deal was closed in 2009.