14 January 2002 17:29 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Eastman Chemical said Monday it closed its fine chemicals plant in Hong Kong on 31 December, eliminated 47 positions and will take a small charge in the fourth quarter for employee terminations and redeployments.
The Kingsport, Tennessee company said the action was taken as part of its previously announced strategy to restructure the fine chemicals portion of its performance chemicals and intermediates business.
Eastman said it could not provide capacity figures for the Hong Kong plant, a current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) facility. The amount of the financial charge related to the closure also was not immediately available.
J Brian Ferguson, Eastman's chairman and chief executive, said the decision to close the Hong Kong plant was made after a thorough evaluation of options.
He continued: "Since announcing business portfolio changes in September 2000, we have made several restructuring moves targeted on improving our cost structure while positioning the business for future growth."
Ferguson said charges related to the ongoing restructuring of the company's fine chemicals unit were taken in second quarter 2001.
Eastman has fine chemicals manufacturing facilities in Batesville, Arkansas; Kingsport; and, Llangefni, Wales.
Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibre and plastics and had 2000 sales of $5.3bn (Euro6bn).
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