After completing an internal review of the styrenics operations owned by Huntsman Chemical Company Australia Pty Ltd at West Footscray, Huntsman Corporation has decided to close the facility. The company expects to cease operation of the West Footscray styrene plant at year end 2009, with subsequent closure of its polystyrene and expandable polystyrene plants in early 2010. The Australian styrenics site is the last commodity polymer plant remaining in the Huntsman portfolio after its divestitures to Nova in 1998, SABIC in 2006, and Flint Hills Resources in 2007. Products produced at the site represent less than 2% of Huntsman's 2008 global sales. The company will book closure costs in 2009 of approximately US$25 mln (primarily severance) and expects to incur other closure related costs of approximately US$15 mln 2010. Additionally, the company will incur environmental remediation costs in an amount yet to be determined.
The styrenics operations is reported to have posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of almost US$24 mln for 2008, based on an operating loss of approximately US$29 mln less impairment charges for the year of US$5 mln. Prior to 2008, the company took an impairment charge and wrote the fixed assets to zero. The company is committed to compliance with all applicable legal requirements concerning employee entitlements and redundancy payments.