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Unfinished Augusta pigment plant will have new owner before completion

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 2:56 PM
Last updated 8:01 PM
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The pigment plant being built near Augusta Regional Airport will likely belong to a different company by the time it is finished.

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Chemical maker Huntsman Corp. announced Tuesday that it will pay $1.1 billion in cash to buy two business units from Rockwood Holdings, including the division that is constructing a $115 million plant on Doug Barnard Parkway.

The Huntsman acquisition is expected to be completed sometime in 2014. February 2015 is the targeted starting date for the facility, which will make synthetic colorants used in construction, coatings, concrete and plastics. The facility will employ between 80 and 100 people.

Andrew Ross, the president of Rockwood Performance Additives, said the acquisition “in no way impacts the continued construction and commissioning of the plant.”

The iron oxide pigment production plant is the first such facility to be built in the U.S. in nearly 35 years.

Ross said the construction is on schedule. Workers on the site are preparing the ground and foundation. He said there will be a ramp up of construction workers in the coming months.

The project, announced in 2011, underwent a lengthy design schedule and did not get started until July. Construction plans were slowed by the wet spring. Augusta beat out five other cities in the Southeast to win the plant.

“Huntsman is a good company,” said Walter Sprouse, executive director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, which was involved in the deal to attract Rockwood to Augusta.

Sprouse was not worried for the future of the facility. “The transaction is the next step in their long-term strategy for the pigments business,” he said.

Huntsman’s companies make products for industries including plastics, automotive, construction, technology and packaging. Rockwood Holdings, based in Princeton, N.J., makes specialty chemicals and advanced materials for customers including the auto, electronics and construction industries.

Under the terms of the agreement Huntsman will pay approximately $1.1 billion in cash and assume unfunded pension liabilities estimated at $225 million to acquire the performance additives and titanium dioxide divisions. Titanium dioxide is a building block in white paint and coatings.

“This acquisition provides a unique opportunity to unlock value within our pigments business and builds on the strong improvements we have made to its competitiveness,” said chief executive Peter Huntsman. “We will become the second largest global producer of (titanium dioxide) and inorganic color pigments.”

Huntsman plans to pursue a public offering of the newly combined pigments business within two years of the deal’s completion, which is expected to happen by mid 2014.

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Riverman1
90853
Points
Riverman1 09/17/13 - 02:11 pm
4
1
The reason no iron oxide

The reason no iron oxide plant has been built in 35 years is because they leave the countryside around them red colored for miles. That's a big price for 80 jobs.

Little Lamb
48048
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Little Lamb 09/17/13 - 03:59 pm
2
0
Dog Bites Man

From the story:

“Huntsman is a good company,” said Walter Sprouse, executive director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority.

Would anyone expect Sprouse to say that Huntsman is a bad company?

woodymeister
373
Points
woodymeister 09/17/13 - 05:21 pm
0
0
Huntsman

If I remember, is a privately owned company. The company is based in Utah. Their Christmas card boasts the family photo of about 75 people, all of which have blond hair!

Overall, it is a great company with which to do business.

soapy_725
43965
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soapy_725 09/18/13 - 06:55 am
0
0
Don't we already have a dye company on Dixon Airline?
Unpublished

Don't we already have a dye company on Dixon Airline?

soapy_725
43965
Points
soapy_725 09/18/13 - 06:57 am
0
0
Map time. Chemical companies love creeks and the river's edge.
Unpublished

Map time. Chemical companies love creeks and the river's edge.

soapy_725
43965
Points
soapy_725 09/18/13 - 06:57 am
0
0
One dye company used to shut down the treatment plant.
Unpublished

One dye company used to shut down the treatment plant.

soapy_725
43965
Points
soapy_725 09/18/13 - 06:59 am
0
0
U cannot kill their little fecal eating bugs. Flow to Butler Cr
Unpublished

U cannot kill their little fecal eating bugs. Flow to Butler Cr

soapy_725
43965
Points
soapy_725 09/18/13 - 07:00 am
0
0
A flowing river can cover a multitude of corporate sins.
Unpublished

A flowing river can cover a multitude of corporate sins.

countyman
21303
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countyman 09/18/13 - 08:34 am
1
0
Leave it to Riverman to spin

Leave it to Riverman to spin anything positive related to Richmond County...

I guess he wants everybody to work at the new Walmart in Martinez instead of $115 million plants offering high paying jobs..

Riverman1
90853
Points
Riverman1 09/18/13 - 09:01 am
0
0
Aerial Photos of Pigment Plant

I previously posted aerial photos of their New York state plant with the reddish discoloration spreading for miles around. The residents there were not happy with the facility. Let's hope the technology is better for THIS plant. Has any Richmond County official even asked them about the problem? Even thought about it? I doubt it.

noxiousfumes
490
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noxiousfumes 09/18/13 - 09:15 am
0
0
Riverman, I did not see any

Riverman, I did not see any Rockwood Pigments plants in New York listed on their website.

http://www.rockwoodspecialties.com/rock_english/companies/rockpigm.asp

itsanotherday1
47068
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itsanotherday1 09/18/13 - 09:26 am
0
0
One would think in this day

One would think in this day of sensitivity to the environment, those kinds of emissions would not be allowed. If it is settling onto the surrounding area, it is getting breathed too.

Sweet son
11104
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Sweet son 09/18/13 - 10:49 am
1
0
Thanks Riverman for the insight!

countyman only sees dollars and cents and we do hope that the environmentalists have weighed in on this. The sad thing is that we have to remember all of the polluters that line the West side of the Savannah River from Gwinnett/Laney Walker Streets to the paper mills. :(

September is Ovarian Cancer awareness month.

Know the symptoms of this deadly disease!

Marinerman1
5320
Points
Marinerman1 09/18/13 - 11:23 am
1
0
This Will Be White

According to the article, they are going to be working on titanium dioxide which is white. Things will look like a chalk plant... : - ))

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