Lubrizol to Shut Down Ohio Plant, Discontinue Certain Products

Company points to energy and raw material costs, excess production capacity, for sites closure.

Lubrizol Corp. announced yesterday plans to shut down the company's Avon Lake, Ohio, acrylic emulsion production site and will begin transitioning selected products to facilities in Pedricktown, N.J. and Gastonia, N.C. Other products will not be transferred and will be discontinued by the end of the year.

Lubrizol said the decision was a result of ongoing cost increases in energy and raw material feed stocks, as well as an ongoing excess of emulsion production capacity in North America. Based on continued market and cost pressures, the company will also cease production of styrene butadiene latex at its Gastonia plant. Lubrizol will purchase the material from outside suppliers to satisfy internal demand as necessary.

In April of this year, Lubrizol Performance Coatings redefined its business model to focus on fewer market end uses where it believes it can deliver the most value to customers and realize sustainable and profitable growth. Actions taken at that time included the disposition of a facility in Lawrence, Mass., and a restructuring of its sales, marketing and research and development organization. These most recent actions are a continuation of this restructuring.

According to Eric Schnur, Lubrizol vice president of performance coatings, while these actions will not eliminate ongoing raw material and energy cost pressures, the company believes they are a key component in controlling costs and insuring business sustainability.

"As we take these necessary steps to exit certain non-strategic products and realign our assets for improved efficiency, we are also significantly increasing our investment in our targeted markets, next generation technologies and service capabilities to enhance our ability to deliver value to our customers," said Schnur.

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