Huntsman to cut 300 jobs, UK, S Africa TiO2 capacity

06 April 2004 14:40  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (CNI)--US chemicals firm Huntsman announced Tuesday the reduction of titanium dioxide (TiO2) capacity in the UK and South Africa to boost competitiveness, which will result in the loss of some 300 jobs.


The Grimsby, UK plant will be reconfigured to produce 40 000 tonne/year of titanium dioxide instead of the current 80 000 tonne/year and will primarily serve the European markets. 


Capacity of the Umbogintwini, South Africa plant will drop to 25 000 tonne/year from 40 000 tonne/year, with the focus on serving the South African market .


The capacity cuts, along with associated organisational changes at Billingham, Teesside, UK, will be completed within the next 12 months, said Huntsman in a statement.  After these cuts, Huntsman Tioxide will then have a global capacity of 550 000/tonne year for titanium dioxide.


Neither the cost of implementing the capacity reduction nor the potential cost savings were revealed.


Huntsman said the job cuts include about 160 at Grimsby, 100 at Umbogintwini and 35 at Billingham (mainly technical service and support staff).


Tom Keenan, president of Huntsman Tioxide, commented: “We have been highly successful over the last few years at streamlining the business to deliver substantial benefits in costs, quality and service efficiency. Along with the recently completed move to a single global SAP platform, we have established a firm foundation from which to further develop the Tioxide business.”


He added: “Earlier investments across our manufacturing network have given Huntsman Tioxide the capacity and flexibility to readily meet anticipated market demand for some time to come. As additional market growth materialises, we have many low cost debottlenecking projects that can be implemented in short order.”

By: Russell Ong
+44 208 652 3214

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