Plant announces permanent closure

By Portia Williams

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According to a letter submitted by Haverhill Chemicals, LLC, the Scioto County Board of Commissioners was notified on Friday, June 12, 2015, that the facility would be closing permanently.

On Friday, June 12, Tom Wells, vice president of Haverhill Chemicals, issued a news release reporting that the Haverhill Plant would begin the suspension of operations at the facility. He said that during the shut-down phase, the company will be seeking a solution that may allow the plant to resume operations.

According to a letter written to Mike Crabtree, Scioto County Commissioner, Haverhill Chemicals Human Resources Manager Bobby Thornsbury stated that certain events relating to Haverhill Chemicals requires the company to conduct employee separations of individuals employed at its facility and to close. The letter proceeds to state that employee separations in connection with this action are expected to be permanent and that the entire facility will close.

Thornsbury could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

A listing of the job titles of the positions to be affected, and the number of employees affected in each job title of the facility, as well as separation dates of are expected to occur during the 14-day period to begin on Aug. 10, 2015.

According to Wells’ news release last week; 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.

Speaking to the Daily Times exclusively last week, Wells said there have been numerous problems at the Haverhill Chemical Plant.

“This facility has never operated based upon what our expectations were,” Wells 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.”

According to Wells, the Haverhill Chemical Plant employs 141 people.

In the letter submitted by Haverhill Chemicals, it is stated within the letter that there are no “bumping” rights at the Haverhill Chemicals facility. The employees affected at the facility are not represented by any union.

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

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