Houston, Texas-Just in case anyone in the sector was wondering if the current reported shortage and high prices for toluene diisocyanate (TDI) would prompt Lyondell Chemical Co. to reconsider its recently announced shut down of a TDI plant at Lake Charles, Texas-think again. Lyondell announced 20 Oct that it is making the shut down permanent, following the chemicals group’s 20 Sept. decision to suspend production “indefinitely” at the 136 kilotonnes per annum TDI plant. “Based on our evaluation of future plant capital requirements, high energy and raw materials costs, and poor projected industry utilisation, we do not expect the Lake Charles TDI business will return to profitability,” said Ed Dineen, senior vice president, Chemicals and Polymers, in a company announcement. And, while the recent hurricanes have contributed to shortages of TDI, resulting from damage or the shutting of various plants, Dineen commented that, “Hurricane Rita contributed to the decision, as it damaged the plant and contributed to increased energy costs.” Lyondell has about 280 employees at the plant, and said it will strive to help employees, by offering redeployment opportunities or severance benefits.Costs of the closure for Lyondell will include a third quarter 2005 charge of $195 million for impairment of the plant value and related assets. Other future costs are employee termination benefits of about $20 million, about $35 million for decommissioning and demolition, and about $10 million for contract terminations.”
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