Kerr-McGee to close TiO2 pigment sulphate plant in Georgia with loss of 100 jobs

15 September 2004 16:22  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (CNI)--Kerr-McGee Chemical announced Wednesday it will end titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment sulphate production at its Savannah, Georgia facility by the end of this month with the loss of 100 jobs.


Kerr-McGee Chemical is the world’s third-largest producer and marketer of titanium dioxide pigment, an inorganic whitener and opacifier for paints, plastics, paper, inks and hundreds of consumer products.


The Savannah sulphate production accounted for about 4% of the company’s total worldwide pigment production in the first half of 2004. It produced 38 000 tonne in 2003.  The company said the action will improve Kerr-McGee Chemical’s operating profit by $15m (Euro12.2m)/year.


Tom Adams, Kerr-McGee Chemical vice president and general manager of the pigment division, said production of titanium dioxide pigment remains a core business for Kerr-McGee. “However, demand and prices for sulphate anatase pigments, particularly in the paper market, has declined in North America consistently during the past several years. The decreasing volumes, along with unanticipated environmental and infrastructure issues discovered when Kerr-McGee acquired the facility in 2000, contributed to the decision.”


The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based company also plans to end production at the Savannah gypsum plant that uses by-product from the sulphate process to manufacture gypsum. The Savannah facility’s workforce of 410 will be reduced by 100 positions.


The company will take a $75m-85m after-tax charge in the third quarter of 2004, primarily related to the shutdowns.

By: Patrick Crow
+1 713 525 2653

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