Eastman Chemical Co. is closing its polyvinyl butyral (PVB) resin plant in Trenton, Mich., in a move that will eliminate 80 jobs.
Production at the plant will end at the end of December, officials with Eastman in Kingsport, Tenn., said in a statement sent to Plastics News. The firm will continue to make Saflex-brand PVB at sites in the U.S., Belgium and Malaysia.
Eastman's other U.S. production site for PVB is in Springfield, Mass. PVB is a specialty resin primarily used in glass interlayers in automotive and architectural markets.
In the statement, Eastman officials cited a lower demand outlook for interlayers for at least the next two-three years as a reason for the closing. They also said there's a need to make large capital investments at the Trenton site to maintain boiler and process water access. Local utility firm Detroit Edison will discontinue that service to the site in 2022, according to Eastman.
"This decision to exit the site will help improve the ongoing cost structure of the business," officials said. "We are committed to maintaining the safety and environmental stewardship of the site throughout the closure."
They added that the decision "is a business decision and is not a reflection of the performance of the employees who work at and support the site. Employees in Trenton are highly skilled and have a proven track record of safety and quality performance."
Eastman acquired the Trenton site as part of its purchase of materials firm Solutia Inc. in 2012.
Eastman employs 14,500 worldwide and posted sales of $9.3 billion in 2019. Plastic products made by the firm include Tritan-brand copolyester.