June 30, 2015  | by Ken Ward Jr., Staff writer

DuPont Co. on Tuesday sold two units at its Belle plant to a private firm, as the chemical giant neared the expected July 1 date for the controversial spinoff of its performance chemicals unit, which includes the Belle facility and half of the company’s Washington Works plant outside Parkersburg.

Optima Chemical Co. announced that it had purchased certain assets at the Belle plant, giving the privately held Optima a second manufacturing site to go with its existing facility in Douglas, Georgia.

The Optima Chemical announcement said it was buying the Belle assets from The Chemours Company, which it listed as a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont — a status that is changing this week.

On Monday, officials from Chemours rang the opening bell and officials from DuPont rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the spinoff transaction.

Company officials say the transaction creates a new firm with thousands of employees around the world and businesses that generated sales of about $6 billion in 2014. Chemours will operate 37 production facilities in 12 counties.

Activist groups and some local residents in Wood County, though, are greatly concerned about the spinoff. They are worried that Chemours does not have the resources to cover a variety of liabilities it is inheriting from DuPont, especially those related to the toxic chemical C8, which DuPont made and used for years at its Washington Works facility.

Company officials have insisted that DuPont and Chemouors “remain committed to continuing to fulfill all of their environmental and legal obligations in accordance with existing local, state and federal regulatory guidelines.”

Earlier this week, though, the activist group Keep Your Promises called attention to a report from Forbes said cited a Credit Suisse projection that Chemours’ liability related to C8 could more than double…

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