Sabic to close US LNP plant; demand in Asia a reason

US-based Sabic Innovative Plastics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Sabic, which took over the Thorndale plant that produces LNP compounds when it bought GE Plastics in 2007, says it is closing the facility due to “geography”, according to a news report in the Daily Local News in the US. Growing demand for LNP compounds, which the Thorndale plant produces, in the Asia Pacific region combined with flat growth in the North American market, is a reason given for the closure, with Sabic adding that speciality compounding facilities in the Americas do not approach full capacity.

Around 51 workers at the Thorndale facility have been put on notice the plant will close barring unforeseen changes in market conditions.

“Sabic constantly evaluates our product offerings to ensure we continue to meet the needs and expectations of our customers. Over the past several years, Sabic’s customer base, who purchase unique LNP compounds, is increasingly located in Asia Pacific, and this trend is expected to accelerate,” a company statement provided to the Daily Local News said. “These customers continue to request local production and shorter lead times to rapidly meet the constant demand for the latest consumer electronic devices.”

The report also stated that Shelia Naab, a company spokeswoman, said the decision to close is not final, that the company would keep it open if it could be convinced that the market in the Americas would improve, with a decision to be made in 2 months.

In addition to increasing production at sister facilities in Asia, Sabic said it will increase production at its Columbus, Ohio, and San Luis Potosi, Mexico, sites to make up for the closure of the Thorndale plant.


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