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Cabot to Shut Down Carbon Black Plants in UK and France; Mothball Capacity in Indonesia and Canada

During its quarterly conference call held today at 2:00 pm, Cabot Corporation provided details of its restructuring plan announced in December. Cabot will shut down its carbon black plants in Stanlow, UK and Berre, France, and will mothball carbon black capacity at its plants in Sarnia, Ontario and Merak, Indonesia. Cabot will also close a Cabot Plastics plant in Dukinfield, UK, a tantalum powder plant in Boyertown, PA, and its regional office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The company will reduce work hours at its Fumed Metal Oxides plant in Rheinfelden, Germany, where utilization will be reduced to very low rates or even zero rates going forward.

Patrick Prevost, President & CEO of Cabot, gave a figure during the call that the restructuring would remove 250 to 300 KT of capacity. According to Notch figures, the permanent shutdowns in the UK and France would remove 175 KTPY, which would mean that a total of 75 to 125 KTPY would be mothballed at Canada and Indonesia. The mothballed units would be available to be restarted as dictated by demand.

The question no one asked: Has the construction phase of the new rubber black units at Tianjin been completed? And how long will the startup of these units be delayed?

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