ATLANTA - In a realignment of its carbon-black operations in North America, Columbian Chemicals Co. announced that it would temporarily halt production at the company's facility in El Dorado, AR, effective Nov. 30. The company, a major carbon-black supplier, said continued overcapacity in the carbon-black industry, combined with "an uncertain business outlook for the next 12 to 18 months," were the key factors in the capacity-reduction move.

The company also said it will consolidate its North American customer-service functions at its Marietta, GA, headquarters, beginning Jan. 1. The company will close each of its sales offices in North America and move customer-service functions to its Headquarters and Technology Center. Local sales representatives will remain in their current locations.