PA Chemical Plant Shutting Down

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 @ 09:01 AM gHale

A western Pennsylvania chemical plant will close by June because the aluminum industry is cutting back on production.

Koppers Holdings Inc., a Pittsburgh-based company that makes chemicals used in aluminum manufacturing as well as wood preservers and vinyl from waste products from the steel industry, will close its Clairton, PA, facility.

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Alcoa Inc. earlier this week unveiled major cuts to its aluminum production on the heels of a $500 million fourth-quarter loss and falling prices due to a global abundance of aluminum.

Koppers said closing the Clairton plant and cutting 52 employees will save the company about $14 million annually by 2017.

“Making a decision to cease operations at any of our plants is never an easy decision,” CEO Leroy Ball wrote in a statement. “The impact it has on our employees that have dedicated their careers to strengthening Koppers’ reputation in the industries that we serve is extremely unfortunate.”

The company has been reducing capacity in its carbon materials business and working to grow other divisions that supply the railroad and home construction industries. In March, the company closed a plant in Green Spring, WV.