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QUANTUM CHEMICAL CLOSES UNPROFITABLE PRODUCTION UNITS

 CINCINNATI, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Quantum Chemical Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hanson PLC (NYSE: HAN), today announced plans to shut down permanently its three oldest, least efficient autoclave low density polyethylene (LDPE) polymer reactors.
 Two of the units, located at Quantum's La Porte, Texas complex, produce 60 million pounds of LDPE per year. Both reactors originally came on stream in the early 1960s and are unprofitable in today's petrochemicals environment. Quantum anticipates that the reactors will be shut down by Dec. 31, 1993, resulting in the elimination of 28 positions. The La Porte complex will continue to operate its newer LDPE reactors, which have a combined capacity of 395 million pounds per year.
 The third reactor to be closed, located at the company's Tuscola, Ill. facility, manufactures LDPE, vinyl acetate-ethylene (VAE) copolymers and n-butyl acrylate (EnBA) copolymers. Built in the 1950s with an annual capacity of 15 million pounds per year, this reactor's age and size make it no longer economically viable. As a result of its closure, Quantum will discontinue production of some VAE products, while the others and all of the EnBA products manufactured at Tuscola will be produced at other Quantum locations. The Tuscola reactor is expected to close by the end of January 1994, which will result in the reduction of 33 positions at the plant.
 Quantum will continue to be the largest domestic producer of LDPE, with 1.55 billion pounds per year of capacity.
 These shutdowns follow a previous announcement by Quantum to exit the ethylene oxide (EO)/ethylene glycol (EG) business by December 1993. Its 220 million pounds per year plant, located in the Morris, Ill. manufacturing complex which has been in operation since 1970, will close as a result of Quantum's long-range projections for overcapacity in the EO/EG market.
 Dr. Ronald H. Yocum, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quantum, said, "The closing of these operating units demonstrates our continued dedication to our program of increasing the profitability and efficiency of Quantum. As an example, the ethylene raw material from the EO/EG unit will be used for more profitable products in Quantum's midwest plants."
 Quantum Chemical Company, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the largest U.S. manufacturer of polyethylene and a major producer of chemicals and specialty polymers.
 Hanson PLC is a British-American industrial management corporation. In the US, Hanson Industries' operations include Peabody Holding Company, Quantum Chemical, Suburban Propane, SCM Chemicals, Cavenham Forest Industries, Beazer, Grove Crane, Jacuzzi Whirlpool Baths, Tommy Armour Golf, Farberware Cookware, Hanson Lighting Group and Hanson Office Products, among others.
 In the United Kingdom, Hanson's holdings include Imperial Tobacco, ARC Aggregates, London Brick, Butterley Brick, Beazer Homes and Smith Meters.
 -0- 11/17/93
 /CONTACT: Mickey Foster of Hanson Industries, 908-603-6977/
 (HAN) CO: Quantum Chemical Company; Hanson PLC ST: Ohio, Texas IN: CHM SU:


SH -- NY028 -- 5338 11/17/93 09:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1993
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