Chemours has announced that it will close its First Chemical plant in Pascagoula at the end of this year.
A statement released by Monday by Chemours reads:
The First Chemical site in Pascagoula has been a valuable part of Chemours through its manufacturing of aniline, nitrobenzene and NDPA lube antioxidant. As a result of a business review we determined that aniline business is not core to our future strategy and we have made the difficult decision to exit the business and cease production at the site by the end of this year. We value every employee and the customers they serve, and we will support them through this time of transition.
The First Chemical plant, a Chemours company, was established in 1967 as Mississippi’s first chemical company. The plant is located in the Bayou Cassotte Industrial Park in Jackson County.
The Jackson County Economic Development Foundation said they will work closely with Chemours real estate department to redevelop the property. “They will enthusiastically engage with us in redeveloping that property,” said George Freeland, executive director of the foundation.
He also noted that “they have been an extraordinary industrial partner.”
According to Freeland, 74 employees were affected and each will receive a severance package.
The plant is a leading producer of aniline intermediates and derivatives as well as nitrobenzene. These chemicals are the key ingredients in many everyday items, including pharmaceuticals, automotive parts, tires, dyes, photochemicals, agricultural chemicals, and building materials.
The First Chemical Corporation has four independent operating units in the contiguous facility. The four units include: the Port Facility Unit (Aniline Production), the Nitration #1 Unit, Nitration #2 Unit, and the Hydrogenation Units #1 and #2.
In 2009, the plant was ordered to pay $731,000 in civil penalties to the federal government after an explosion in 2002 that left two people injured.