Columbian to Close US Carbon Black Plant
Due to softer demand for carbon black in North America, Columbian Chemicals announced on November 12 that it will close its production facilities in Marshall, West Virginia, on or around January 31, 2009. Approximately 55 jobs will be lost as a result of the closure.
“Continued overcapacity coupled with an uncertain business outlook has forced Columbian to re-evaluate its assets in North America,” said Kevin Boyle, president and CEO of Columbian Chemicals Company. “We are optimising our resources during this difficult economic period while at the same time maintaining our focus on our customers. Our remaining plants in North America are well positioned to continue to provide the same high level of service and quality Columbian’s customers have come to expect from our Marshall facility.
“Our team in Marshall has worked hard over the last several years to keep the plant operating in a very competitive environment as we have seen demand shift away from North America,” added Boyle. “The decision to close the plant was difficult due to the impact on our employees, their families and the community.”
While the closure of this production facility removes about 50,000 tonnes of annual capacity, Columbian says it is committed to maintain market share and to minimise disruption to its customers.
“We are very focused on aligning our assets with the demand of our customers, which is continuously moving more to the developing economies of the world,” Boyle said. “This step in North America along with our recent and ongoing expansions in Brazil, Central Europe, and China is critical to this strategic initiative.”
Columbian reports that it will continue to closely monitor the evolving global demand outlook for carbon black. “We will take every step necessary to ensure that Columbian Chemicals Company remains a successful leader in the global carbon black market and a valued supplier to our customers,” concluded the company president and CEO.