Acetate Tow Eastman Considers Closing of Acetate Tow Facility in UK

Editor: Dr. Jörg Kempf

Eastman Chemical Company announced it will begin a consultation period regarding a proposal to close its Workington, UK, acetate tow manufacturing facility. The proposed closure of the site is in response to changes in global market demand for acetate tow.

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The statistic shows the global production output of the chemical fiber industry by fiber type (see gallery).
The statistic shows the global production output of the chemical fiber industry by fiber type (see gallery).
(Source: Industrievereinigung Chemiefaser, Statista)

Kingsport, Tenn./USA, Workington/UK – “With recent and announced global acetate tow manufacturing capacity additions, we need less capacity to supply our customers,” said Linda Hensley, vice president and general manager of Eastman’s Fibers segment.

Eastman also manufactures acetate tow at its facilities in Kingsport, Tenn., and Ulsan, Korea. Eastman’s global acetate tow capacity is 210,000 metric tons including the Workington, UK, site which produces 24,000 metric tons. In addition, Eastman's joint venture with China National Tobacco Company in Heifei, China, has 30,000 metric tons of acetate tow manufacturing capacity.

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“Eastman remains committed to reliably supplying all customers with top quality products during and following this consultation process,” Hensley said.

Eastman has informed the trade union and will work with union and employee representatives throughout the consultation period.

“We will be doing all we can to support employees throughout this consultation process to ensure they are treated with the respect they deserve,” Hensley added. “Eastman’s consideration of a possible closure of the Workington plant is not a reflection of the performance of the employees who work at the site.”

Eastman manufactures Estron acetate tow, which is a fibrous material downstream customers use to manufacture cigarette filter rods.

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