Mitsubishi Chemical closing local Lucite site

  • Lucite International on Twin City Highway
    Lucite International on Twin City Highway

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) announced Nov. 4 that it will be closing its “Beaumont site” by Feb. 28, 2021, reportedly due to decreased global demand of the products made there and because plant costs exceed expected profits, according to the company.

MCC decided to end methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer and methacrylic acid (MAA) production at Lucite International, which is a subsidiary of MCC in Texas, and close the site after sales did not live up to expectations in 2020 and the company’s capital expenditures continued to climb. Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation factored in approximately $230 million in an impairment loss on the Beaumont facility and shutdown-related costs for its results forecast for the year ending March 31, 2021.

The plant, which is located 6350 Twin City Highway just north of Nederland, produces 135k metric tons of product annually. MMA monomer is a raw material for acrylic resins used in vehicle lamp covers, signs, aquarium tanks, construction materials, paints and other items. MAA is a raw material for paints, adhesives, synthetic rubber, concrete admixture and additional products.

The MCC Group including Lucite International is a leading MMA supplier with production sites in various regions worldwide. According to MCC, the Beaumont site closure is meant to “boost competitiveness and optimize its supply chain in keeping with demand and supply trends for raw materials.” Data from 2017 indicates the site employs 160-plus full-time employees.