Norco plant to shut down by years end, will impact 60 employees

November 21, 2007 at 1:44 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Dow Chemical Company recently announced that Union Carbide Corporation will suspend production at its polypropylene manufacturing facility at St. Charles Operations in Norco in anticipation of an expected decision to shut down the plant's facility by years end.

"The plant has been getting older and has not kept up with modern type technologies. The investment to keep it running wasn't there," Tommy Faucheux, Dow's director of public information for the St. Charles branch, said.† "Almost all of the employees will move to the west bank location.

"The facility has been there for 30 years," he said. "At one time it was part of Shell."

Dow has begun its communication with suppliers and customers to facilitate the shutting down of the plant within the specified timetable. Dow will fulfill contractual obligations appropriately, but may not be able to maintain the current level of supply to all customers.

"The closing of the St. Charles Operations' polypropylene plant is a difficult decision, but due to a number of factors, including the inability to secure a source of economically sustainable propylene, the use of older technologies at the plant and needed capital improvements to maintain operations to Dow standards, it will be unavoidable," said Julie McAlindon, Dow Polypropylene Global Business Director.

The St. Charles site was part of the transaction in which TDCC acquired UCC in 2001. The polypropylene plant has a capacity of 500/MM lbs. Polypropylene is used in a wide range of applications, including films, health and hygene, rigid and flexible packaging, automotive and consumer durables.

The planned shutdown of the facility will impact approximately 60 employees. It is expected that a large majority of those employees will be redeployed to other roles at St. Charles.

"Despite the closure of the polypropylene facility, SCO continues to be a vibrant site," said St. Charles Operations Site Leader Nawzer Parakh. "The polypropylene plant represents a small portion of total operations at St. Charles Operations and its closure will have little to no impact on our economic contributions to the local community,"

St. Charles Operations manufacturing facility will continue to operate with more than 2,000 employees and contract employees.

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