Boston, Mass. --Cabot Corp. has said it intends to close its carbon black production plant in Altona (Victoria State), Australia from October 2005. The facility has a nameplate capacity of 45 000 tonnes per year.
Cabot said the closure comes as a result of a supplier's decision to cease production of the raw material from September 2005. Cabot added that the demand for carbon black in Australia is decreasing, but it is de-bottlenecking a number of plants in the Asia-Pacific region to compensate for the reduction in capacity.
Kennett Burnes, Cabot's chairman and ceo stated, "This is a difficult decision and one that saddens us greatly. Unfortunately, this step is necessary as we have no viable, cost-competitive alternative for our raw material supply in Australia." In a statement, Cabot added, "The Company expects that this closure plan will result in an estimated after-tax charge to earnings of approximately $12 million over the next two years. Net cash outlays related to the closure over this period are expected to be approximately $5 million, which include the anticipated proceeds from the sale of certain assets."
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Press release from Cabot