BOSTON — Cabot Corp. said it will close its Waverly, W. Va., carbon black plant next March, although shipments from the facility will continue through the middle of 2008.
Changes in the tire manufacturing business led to the decision to shut down the facility, which will cost 48 workers their jobs, a Cabot spokeswoman said. The expansion of tire factories in China and other Asia Pacific regions combined with a growing number of imported tires in the past 18 months influenced Cabot´s decision on the closing, the company said.
With more tire companies opening facilities overseas, Cabot must adjust to stay competitive, the spokeswoman said.
The Waverly site primarily produces carbon black for the tire industry. Other markets include industrial rubber products, elastomer composites, plastic masterbatch and specialty products, such as inks and coatings.
Cabot calls itself the world´s largest manufacturer of carbon black with 24 manufacturing facilities in 18 countries.
The company operates five other carbon black plants in North America. When the factory closes in 2008, production will be spread out among those sites, the official said, and there are no plans to close any of the other operations.
Employees will remain in Waverly until March 2008. It will be decided later who and how many will stay on to help with customer shipments.
The exact date of the closing hasn´t been decided yet, nor has the fate of the facility and its equipment. Cabot is focused on maintaining the building and operations, the spokeswoman said.
The plant has been operating since 1968.