Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Hunt Valley, MD, USA (Wednesday, June 11, 2008)
– Cristal Global announced today that it has declared “Force Majeure”
at its Bunbury titanium dioxide (TiO₂) operations in Western Australia.
Cristal Global made this declaration as a result of similar declarations
made by its key energy and raw material suppliers who were also
significantly impacted by the June 3, 2008 explosion and fire at Apache
Energy’s Varanus Island natural gas pipeline facility.
3, 2008, Cristal Global safely shutdown its Bunbury titanium dioxide
(TiO₂) operations in Western Australia as a result of the Force Majeure
declaration it received from its natural gas distributor. While we have
recently been given a small allocation of natural gas by our supplier,
this supply is not enough to run our entire operations nor is this
supply available to us on a consistent basis.
The natural gas
situation and its impact on local Western Australia industry is still
quite fluid. Cristal Global is uncertain at this time how long it will
be before full production at its site is resumed. Cristal Global has
started developing energy and raw material sourcing alternatives.
Cristal Global is supplying some customer requirements from available
inventory and is evaluating options to supply customers from other
company production sources.
Cristal Global continues to monitor this situation very closely and will provide updates as new information becomes available.
Cristal is one of the largest producers of titanium dioxide and a
leading producer of titanium chemicals. Cristal is the world’s leading supplier
of ultrafine titanium dioxide products and titanium chemicals and is a
fast-growing producer of mineral sands and titanium metal powder. Cristal
operates seven manufacturing plants in six countries on five continents and
employs nearly 4,500 people worldwide.
Cristal is owned 66% by Tasnee, a listed Saudi joint stock company and 33% by
Gulf Investment Corporation, a company equally owned by the six states of the
Gulf Cooperation Council and headquartered in Kuwait.