Saturday, December 29, 2012

Acordis shuts US Tencel plant (1999)

Acordis, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Akzo Nobel, is halting production of Tencel at its 43000 tonne/year Mobile, Alabama, US, plant,focusing operations at its other 42000 tonne/year plant in Grimsby, UK.

The company blames current market conditions for the closure and said the Tencel operations have been making a loss since the start of the Asian crisis. 'Until the Asian crisis, demand frequently exceeded our ability to supply,' said David Wilkinson, Acordis director responsible for Tencel.

Some sources believe Tencel's problem, since its launch in 1992, lies with its relatively high price relative to other fibres.

But Acordis maintains this is a temporary setback. The Mobile plant will be maintained in operational condition so that it can be brought back onstream when demand improves.

Acordis remains committed to Tencel, adding that programmes with major

retailers in the US, South America, Europe and Asia continue to advance strongly.

The decision to close the US plant, previously operated by Courtaulds, will result in the loss of 96 manufacturing jobs in the US and of 62 technical support staff, mainly located in the UK.


1978 Akzo pilot plant in US

1987 Courtaulds pilot plant in UK

1990 Lenzing pilot plant

1992 Courtaulds startup in Mobile, US

1997 Lenzing startup in Heiligenkreuz, Austria

1998 Courtaulds startup in Grimsby, UK

1999 Acordis shuts Mobile, US, indefinitely

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