Production shift

Albemarle Corporation is shifting work from a Tennessee plant to offshore facilities to streaming lithium production in the United States.

Albemarle Corporation has announced its intent to transfer production of n-Butyllithium from its facility in New Johnsonville, Tennessee, to existing plants in Germany and Taiwan.

The transfer process is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2016.

"With this action, we are reducing redundancies in our global operations, while maintaining a strategic network of manufacturing facilities to ensure continued security of supply," said Raphael Crawford, vice president of Albemarle's Synthesis and Polymer Solutions division. "Our resulting operational savings are critical to maintaining our leadership position in the lithium market."

"Due to global shifts in demand for n-Butyllithium, our assets in Germany and Taiwan are more strategically located to support our future growth in this industry," said Michael Wilson, president of Albemarle's Performance Chemicals business unit.

"Rationalization of our New Johnsonville capacity supports our stated intent to capitalize on synergies resulting from our recent acquisition of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. The combination of the Albemarle and Rockwood Lithium organometallics platforms has made us a clear leader in high value metal alkyls for synthesis, polymer and electronics markets, and we will continue to focus on serving our customers and controlling costs to maintain that leadership."

While production of n-Butyllithium will be transferred to Germany and Taiwan, the New Johnsonville facility will continue to manufacture some specialty lithium products and will support blending operations for customers in North America.

Albemarle is engaged in opening a lithium production facility at its Magnolia South plant in Columbia County. Lithium is the power source for batteries commonly used in rechargeable electronic devices.

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