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Evonik Degussa to Close US Carbon Black Plant

On August 28, 2008, Evonik Degussa Corporation announced that it planned to cease production at its carbon black plant in Aransas Pass, Texas by the end of 2008. The move will affect 30 of 38 positions at the plant. The plant will continue to ship carbon black until year-end to fulfill existing contracts. After manufacturing has ceased, the site will be used as a warehouse.

The Aransas Pass plant, located 220 miles south of Houston, began operations in 1941 as a two-unit channel black plant. Furnace black production at the site began in 1977, when the plant was purchased by Ashland. Degussa bought the plant in 1988.

Degussa Evonik said that the decision came after an intensive review of its North American operations, and is accompanied by an investment program to increase efficiencies at the company’s remaining US plants, located in Ivanhoe, Louisiana; Orange and Borger, Texas; and Belpre, Ohio. These investments have already begun, according to the company.

Ruediger Eberhard, Head of Evonik’s Rubber Reinforcement Business Line, said that in order for the company to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace, it must fully utilize the capabilities of its carbon black operations, concentrating resources at more efficient facilities that can compete in today’s challenging environment.
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