Imerys stops operations at Andersonville facility, will reduce production at another

Imerys stops operations at Andersonville facility, will reduce production at another

ANDERSONVILLE, GA (WALB) - Operations at two Imerys Oilfield Solutions plants, including one in Andersonville, GA will cease for "an undetermined amount of time" due to the plummeting price of oil.

Imerys did not immediately announce how many employees would be affected.

The company said it had experienced a "substantial reduction in orders" over the last 60 days, and would "mothball' its facilities in Andersonville. They said they would also reduce production at a plant in Wrens, GA.

In a release, officials said they would determine at a later date when production would resume.

Imerys employs more than 15,000 people at more than 240 facilities around the world.

A spokesman says the company is trying to relocate some of those employees to another facility in either Georgia or another state, but for now, operations at the Oilfield Solutions facility are mothballed.

The layoffs could affect more than just these families; it could affect local businesses like the Maze.

"Our business is about 80% local and about 20% tourist, so when we lose a company like Imerys, when they lay off people, it really hurts us," said store owner Chuck Smith.

In fact it already has; one lady cancelled her order for specialized frames.

"She'd put in an order for it and she called yesterday and said she just found out she was being laid off and she'd like to put off framing because she can't afford it right now," said Smith.

Smith and other business owners remain hopeful that those without jobs will rebound and find work. Everyone agrees they play a special part in the local economy.

"Lot of the people that work there even though it's 15-20 miles away, live here, and shop here in our community and eat in our community so it'll be a big difference for us," said Smith.

Imerys says operations could resume at the Oilfield Solutions if prices and demand pick back up.

Here is the news release sent from Imerys Oilfield Solutions:

With the plummeting price of oil, and the industry wide slowdown in drilling activity, Imerys Oilfield Solutions (IOS) has experienced a substantial reduction in orders over the last 60 days. As a result of these market conditions, IOS will be mothballing it's facility in Andersonville, Georgia for an undetermined period. At the same time we will be mothballing the Gemini facility, we will also be reducing production at our Wrens facility. As market conditions become more favorable the business will make a determination as to when production would fully resume. These are difficult decisions to make, because we know how this action will impact our people and their families. This is an extremely tough time for everyone involved, but we truly feel that taking this action now will, in the long run, position this business to be competitive long- term. Our continued commitment to servicing our customer base remains strong through this downturn and we will come out of this stronger as an Industry.

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