Huntsman to Close South African TiO2 Plant

11.07.2016 -

US-based Huntsman, the world’s largest producer of TiO2, has announced it will close its South African plant during the fourth quarter of 2016. Located in Umbogintwini, the 25,000 t/y facility is Huntsman’s smallest and oldest TiO2 plant. "Our margins remain well below historical norms despite some recent recovery from trough conditions,” said Simon Turner, president of Huntsman’s pigments and additives division. “It is critical that we continue our successful cost reduction and synergy program to combat such conditions."

The move follows the closure in 2015 of 100,000 t/y capacity at Huntsman’s TiO2 plant in Calais, France. Sources do not expect the closure to have any noticeable effect on the market. Huntsman said it would supply its regional customers from its plants in Europe. The industry has seen a series of rationalisation and restructuring moves in recent years in response to global overcapacity and poor profitability.

DuPont spinoff Chemours announced in August 2015 that it would shutter its Edge Moor plant in Delaware, USA, as well as a third line in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, removing roughly 150,000 t/y of capacity.