HOUSTON (Sept. 21)—Lyondell Chemical Co. will suspend production "indefinitely" of toluene diisocyanate at its plant in Lake Charles, La., citing poor profitability in the business.
"The TDI business in North America has not improved as we hoped it would with the economic recovery," Ed Dineen, senior vice president, Chemicals and Polymers, said in a prepared statement.
"The decision to suspend production at this plant is based on poor financial results," he said, adding that Lyondell sees no change in the near term for the business.
It has become "commercially impracticable" for Lyondell to continue making TDI at Lake Charles, according to Dineen, saying the firm does not believe that the costs associated with suspending production will be material in the near term.
"We are evaluating the long-term prospects of the facility," Dineen said.
Lyondell acquired the 136,000-metric-ton-per-year plant when it bought ARCO Chemical Co. in 1998. ARCO Chemical had in turn purchased the factory from Olin Corp. in December 1996.
TDI is used to make flexible polyurethane foam for uses in consumer goods, transport and packaging, and also to make coatings, sealants, adhesives and elastomers.