Celanese Corp. is closing its compounding plant in Lebanon, Tenn., in a move that will eliminate 19 jobs.
The closing was announced to employees on May 20. In a May 22 email to Plastics News, a spokesman for Dallas-based Celanese said that the closing "is designed to further optimize the manufacturing footprint of our Engineered Materials facilities as part of the long-term strategy for the business to be a preferred partner for our customers."
Celanese will operate the plant through the end of June to ensure a smooth and safe shut-down process, he added.
"We know this is difficult news, and our team is dedicated to making this transition as smooth as possible," the spokesman said. The announcement "was an extremely difficult decision for everyone given the impact to our people and to the local community.
"We will work hard to fully support all of our employees who are impacted by this action," he added.
Employees will be eligible for a package of benefits which includes outplacement assistance, severance pay and other benefits.
Celanese acquired the Lebanon plant in late 2016 as part of its purchase of Italian compounder So.F.Ter Group. The acquisition nearly doubled the number of Celanese global engineered materials product platforms and added more than 300 million pounds of global compounding capacity to Celanese.
The 100,000-square-foot Lebanon plant ran four production lines and was So.F.Ter's first U.S. site when it opened in 2014. The plant had annual production capacity of 50 million pounds and made compounds based on polypropylene, nylon, polyesters and thermoplastic elastomers, primarily for the U.S. automotive market.
Celanese is a major producer of specialty plastics and chemicals. The firm employs almost 8,000 worldwide and posted sales of $7.2 billion in 2018.