Honeywell to Idle Metropolis Plant, Cut 170 Jobs
By West Kentucky Star Staff
METROPOLIS, IL - Honeywell has announced plans to temporarily halt production at its Metropolis facility, and will be eliminating 170 full-time and some contractor positions at the plant.

In a press release, a company spokesperson says the facility will maintain limited operations to allow for a possible future restart. The company cites decreased worldwide demand for UF6 as the main reason for the decision, partially blaming the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan for the downturn. Analysts don't expect demand for UF6 to increase before 2020.

Company officials did not specify exactly when the layoffs will occur.

Here is Honeywell's full statement on the announcement:

“The nuclear industry continues to experience significant challenges and is currently oversupplied with UF6 worldwide. In particular, the decrease in demand in Japan and Germany following the Fukushima disaster has had a significant impact on the industry and continues to create an over-supplied market for the uranium fuel cycle, and a downward trend in the uranium markets. According to analysis from Energy Resource International, since Fukushima, global demand for nuclear fuel has dropped 15 percent, with demand not anticipated to rise before 2020. 

As a result of this business outlook, Honeywell plans to temporarily idle production of UF6 at its Metropolis site, while maintaining minimal operations to support a future restart should business conditions improve. Because of this, the company intends to reduce the full-time workforce at the plant by 170 positions, as well as a number of contractor positions. Honeywell intends to restart once business conditions improve and will keep the plant in a state of readiness and continue to support minimal on-site operations to ensure a successful restart. While industry analysts indicate that demand is unlikely to increase between now and 2020, we will actively monitor market conditions to determine optimal conditions to support restart.”

Published 09:56 AM, Monday Nov. 20, 2017
Updated 07:43 PM, Tuesday Nov. 21, 2017

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