22 January 2001 18:33 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Equistar will close its 317 604 tonne/year Port Arthur, Texas polyethylene (PE) plant and cut 125 jobs there effective 28 February in a cost reduction manoeuvre, Equistar said Monday.
When completed, this closure will eliminate 108 893 tonne/year of high density PE (hdPE) and 72 595 tonne/year of low density PE (ldPE) from Equistar's current production stream. Another 136 116 tonne/year of hdPE has been idled since 1999 at the plant.
Eugene Allspach, Equistar's president and chief operating officer, said: "Our analysis of Port Arthur concludes that the site does not have sufficient scale and operational efficiency to compete in today's environment."
A joint venture run by Houston-based Lyondell Chemical, Houston-based Equistar has used the Port Arthur facility for production of hdPE purchased primarily by manufacturers of plastic bottles for household and industrial chemicals. The company said ldPE from the site is used for manufacturing films in trashcan liners and other packaging.
Equistar will continue serving those markets through production at alternative sites.
Allspach re-affirmed Equistar's commitment to the PE markets, noting that the company still will have 2.9m tonne/year of polyolefins capacity once the Port Arthur shutdown is complete.
Lyondell is partners with Millennium Chemicals and OxyChem in the Equistar joint venture.
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