The propylene oxide unit at the Huntsman petrochemical plant in Port Neches is in full operation and was among the stops on a tour of the site Tuesday. The facility is expanding, constructing a third ethylene oxide unit, which, when in full operation by the end of the year will make Huntsman the largest ethylene oxide producer in the nation at an expected output of 3.8 million pounds per day. Following a tour of the site, executives held a lunch with employees, U.S. Congressman Randy Weber and representatives of Lamar University. Founder Jon Huntsman presented Lamar President Ken Evans with a check for $5 million, which will go toward establishing the Wayne Reaud Honors College.Photo taken Tuesday, September 1, 2015Photo by Kim BrentKim Brent Huntsman Corp. has entered into a deal to sell its chemical manufacturing assets, including a manufacturing facility in Port Neches, to Thailand-based company Indorama Ventures PCL for $2.08 billion.

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The Woodlands-based company announced Thursday that the sale was a part of its overall strategy to become a major downstream supplier of petrochemicals and shift from the derivatives business.

“This is another milestone in our stated strategy to focus more on our downstream and specialty businesses where we will generate more stable margins and consistent, strong free cash flow,” Peter Huntsman, chairman, president and CEO of Huntsman, said in a statement.

Indorama Ventures will also acquire Facilities in Dayton and Chocolate Bayou, along with international properties in Ankleshwar, India and Botany, Australia.

Along with the facilities, Indorama Ventures is also taking on around $76 million in “net underfunded pension and other post-employment benefit liabilities,” according to Huntsman.

Huntsman acquired the Port Neches plant in 1994 when it bought Texaco Chemical, which co-founded the Jefferson Chemical Co. there 50 years earlier.

It completed a multi-million dollar expansion on the facility near the end of 2015 as a part of plans for a $150 million build up of ethylene oxide production, the precursor component for hundreds of household products.

The Huntsman family have often played a part in Jefferson County public life in its over 25 years of business in the county, and established a charity fund in 2017 to help families effected by Tropical Storm Harvey. The Huntsman family donated $1 million to the fund and The Huntsman Foundation donated another $1 million.

The company has reported weakening sales for three consecutive weeks, and confirmed last week that its second quarter net income was down to $118 million compared to $623 million in the same time last year, a 75 percent drop.

Huntsman reported a $615 million profit last year, down 17 percent from $741 million in 2017, but had a $1 billion jump in revenues over the $8.3 million it posted in 2017.

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In its Wednesday announcement, Huntsman also said it plans to accelerate its share repurchase program after the sale closes.