Omnova to close latex facility in the US; decline in business due to paper sector

OMNOVA-SolutionOmnova Solutions says that it will close its production facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where it makes around 59,000 tonnes/year of styrene butadiene (SB) emulsions, due to a revamp in its US facilities and to cut costs.

It will continue operation for the next 9-12 months and move production to its facility in Mogadore, Ohio. The Mogadore plant will continue to make polymers used in oil and gas, nonwoven, construction, tapes and adhesives and other specialty niches, according to the firm.

The new changes are expected to save Omnova Solutions US$10 million to US$13 million a year, the company said. The company previously closed down its emulsion polymer manufacturing plant in Akron, a move expected to save another US$4 million annually.

“We remain committed to serving the specialty paper and carpet industries as well as the many other specialty applications that use styrene butadiene emulsions,” said Anne Noonan, President/CEO of Omnova Solutions. “We will work closely with our customers, maintaining service levels to these markets during the transition. Our Mogadore facility has the full complement of technical and production capabilities to meet our customers’ needs with the highest levels of technical and service excellence.”

The company says the decision to close the Green Bay facility is necessary due to the continued decline of the paper market and is another step in Omnova’s continued transition to a specialty solutions company. “In keeping with our strategic focus, we will continue to accelerate the development of market-leading specialty solutions to serve customers in specialty paper, carpet, and other specialty SB-based markets,” said Noonan.

“Green Bay has been an important part of the Omnova story since the plant opened in 1993 and we value the long-standing government and community support we have received over the years,” said Noonan. “We regret the impact this change will have on many of our employees who have done an exceptional job of serving our customers. We are appreciative of our employees’ many contributions, and we will continue to assist and support our workers throughout this transition.”

Omnova’s sales for the last 12 months ended November 30, 2017 were US$783 million. It has a global workforce of approximately 1,800.