Suncoke responds to Haverhill suspension

By Portia Williams

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Suncoke Energy, of Haverhill, released a statement about the continued working agreement with Haverhill Chemicals, after Haverhill Chemicals announced plans last week to suspend operations.

According to the statement by Suncoke Energy, “We have a long-term steam supply agreement with Haverhill Chemicals. We have a good relationship with the people at this facility and expect to work cooperatively with them on contingency plans for steam and water. We continue to produce coke at our Haverhill operations.”

According to a release provided last week by Tom Wells, vice president of Haverhill Chemicals LLC, since acquiring the plant three years ago from Sunoco, the company has incurred tens of millions of dollars in unbudgeted and unanticipated expenses required to improve the condition and reliability of the plant. That unexpected investment of time and capital made operations unsustainable.

During the shut-down phase, the company will be seeking a solution that may allow the plant to resume operations.

Wells had no comment after announcing the suspension on Friday, but on Thursday he told the Daily Times there have been numerous problems at the Haverhill Chemical Plant.

“This facility has never operated based upon what our expectations were,” he said. “And that has led to additional problems as you know. The company had a fatality last year in the BPA Unit. The BPA Unit was down for a number of months and that clearly had an economic impact. It has been a significant capital investment made in that plant, which has a financial impact as well.”

Haverhill Chemical Plant employs 141 people.

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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