Huntsman to Close South African Titanium Dioxide Facility
Huntsman Corp. recently announced a plan to close its 25,000-metric-ton titanium dioxide manufacturing facility based in South Africa.
Huntsman Corp. recently announced a plan to close its 25,000-metric-ton titanium dioxide (TiO2) manufacturing facility based in Umbogintwini, South Africa, during the fourth quarter of 2016. Closure of the facility will have a cash payback of less than two years. Cost savings from this closure are in addition to the approximately $200 million previously announced.
Employing approximately 140 associates, the Umbogintwini plant is the smallest and oldest TiO2 manufacturing plant in the company’s Pigments and Additives division. Under the proposed plan, production at the plant will end during the fourth quarter of 2016, after which Huntsman will serve its customers in the region with existing capacity from its European TiO2 facilities.
“Our margins remain well below historical norms despite some recent recovery from tough conditions,” said Simon Turner, president of Pigments and Additives. “It is critical that we continue our successful cost reduction and synergy program to combat such conditions. We have sufficient capacity across our production network to allow us to close our smallest facility, still meet our customers’ needs and improve our overall competitiveness. We appreciate the support of our associates at the Umbogintwini facility, and we will work closely with them and our representative groups to ensure that we manage this difficult situation with due care and respect.”
“This closure increases the competitive positioning of our Pigments and Additives business and is an important step in the process as we work toward a separation,” said Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO. “The separation of our Pigments and Additives business will come through either a spin to our shareholders or other strategic transaction. We continue to diligently work toward this objective.”
For more information, visit www.huntsman.com.