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Reprieve for Chemours site

Chemours has sold its methylamines business to Belle Chemical, an affiliate of Cornerstone Chemical. This has given a lifeline to the 57 workers at the site in Belle, West Virginia, and exemplified enduring interest in US-based chemical manufacture. Financial details were not disclosed.

In September 2019, the company had announced plans to close the site at the end of the year, due to rising costs of importing methanol and ammonia feedstocks and changing corporate priorities. This followed several years of unsuccessful attempts to improve its profitability. After making the announcement, however, it received multiple enquiries and appointed investment bank Grace Matthews to advise it.

Methylamines are mainly used in agricultural, oil and gas, electronics and personal care applications. Cornerstone itself is based in Waggaman, Louisiana, and makes melamine, acrylonitrile, urea and sulfuric acid. It was formerly the intermediate chemicals business of Cytec. The firm’s owner is private equity firm Littlejohn & Co., which acquired it from HIG Capital in 2017.

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