Whitehaven, UK - Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) announced today that it is to cease production of Heavy Duty Liquids (HDL) at its Whitehaven Site around end of September 2006.
The long term future of the Whitehaven Site has been in serious doubt in recent times due to deteriorating market conditions which have severely impacted the viability of the business over a period of many years.
Unfortunately, despite Huntsman’s best endeavours to make a success of the HDL operation, a very serious setback was suffered earlier this year when a key customer decided to discontinue taking product from the Company in the UK.
This deeply disappointing development has dealt a very serious blow to the survival chances of the business at Whitehaven. Despite efforts to offset the impact of the customer decision, Site management have reluctantly come to the conclusion that - following a thorough review - the only realistic option available is to cease HDL production at Whitehaven.
Given this set of circumstances, the Company has decided it is important now to concentrate its efforts into supporting the nine remaining site employees, and will now enter into consultation with each individual. Everything possible will be done to help find alternative employment for the employees affected, either within other parts of Huntsman or outside the company.
It is planned that following the cessation of production, the early part of October will be used for cleaning, decommissioning and isolation of equipment with the rest of the month used to allow the transfer of production and stock consumption. It is expected that most of the remaining employees will leave around the end of October.
Huntsman would like to place on record its sincere appreciation to its employees at Whitehaven for their continued commitment and contribution to producing high quality products safely during a period of major restructuring over
the last three years.
Arrangements will be put in place to continue to meet customers’ needs from other parts of Huntsman’s European surfactants manufacturing operations.
Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and commodity chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging, and later, rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has 15,000 employees and 78 operations in 24 countries. The Company had 2005 revenues of $13 billion.
Statements in this release that are not historical are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management’s current beliefs and expectations. The forward-looking statements in this release are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances and involve risks and uncertainties that may affect the company’s operations, markets, products, services, prices and other factors as discussed in the Huntsman companies’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Significant risks and uncertainties may relate to, but are not limited to, financial, economic, competitive, environmental, political, legal, regulatory and technological factors. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the company’s expectations will be realized. The company assumes no obligation to provide revisions to any forward-looking statements should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.
Media: Bill Perfitt
Tel +00 44 1642 834693