By Wayne Allen
Earlier this summer it was announced that Haverhill Chemicals, LLC., a phenol manufacturing facility, would be closing, leaving roughly 140 employees jobless. On Tuesday, the Scioto County Commissioners said they have their fingers crossed about finding a buyer for the Haverhill Chemical Plant.
“We’ve heard someone has a serious interest in that. Maybe that’s going to happen, maybe it’s not. We’ve been walking around with our fingers crossed ever since all of that happened,” said Mike Crabtree, chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners.
Crabtree said the commissioners would keep their fingers crossed until they know something specific.
According to officials they were given a date of Aug, 10 as to when the plant would stop operations. Workers and officials were notified the plant would stay open an additional two weeks to allow companies to tour the plant. As of Tuesday, the plant remained open. OhioMeansJobs of Scioto County has established a transition center at the plant to help potentially displaced workers by providing resume assistance and various other services.
Jason Kester, executive director of the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) said there are a lot of people from around the region and state working to keep the plant open.
“Really Scioto County is playing a waiting game to see what happens, because when you dealing with a receivership that’s being run out of Houston, Texas, not a lot can be done locally, except for hoping and praying everything will work out,” said Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis.
Commissioner Doug Coleman said a deal would boil down to money, and said there have been conversations with a company that’s currently trying to put together the necessary money to purchase the plant.
When asked what the chances were for a buyer, Davis said, “50/50, it’s still a valuable asset. The phenol industry needs this. They lost 11 percent of their capacity when that plant shuts (down). There is still a valid need.”
This story originally appeared in the Portsmouth Daily Times.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT