Web Date: June 14, 2007
Cabot Will Close Carbon Black Plant
Cabot will cease making carbon black in Waverly, W.Va., and close its plant in March 2008.
Over the past 18 months, Cabot explains, a number of tire companies have cut production capacity in the U.S., while tire makers in South America and China and other Asia-Pacific countries have ramped up capacity. Carbon black is a major rubber reinforcing agent in truck and car tires.
Anticipating lower demand for carbon black from North American tire producers, Cabot says it will have to shut the plant. To account for the closure, the firm will take a $22 million pretax charge against earnings over the next two years. The Waverly facility is one of five carbon black plants that Cabot operates in North America; it has eight in the Asia-Pacific region and five in South America.
To make up for any carbon black shortfalls in North America after the Waverly facility closes, Cabot says it will add incremental capacity to several of its remaining North American plants.
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