Fluoride Action Network

Honeywell to reopen in early 2023

Source: Metropolis Planet (Kentucky) | By Terra Temple
Posted on February 10th, 2021
Location: United States, Illinois
Industry type: Nuclear Industry
A part of the Metropolis landscape since 1958, the Honeywell Metropolis Works plant is scheduled to restart production of uranium hexafluoride in early 2023. Preparation of the site will start immediately. Honeywell will hire 160 full-time employees as well as contractors by the end of next year.

While rumors had been flying around for a couple of weeks, the official word spread quickly Tuesday.

Honeywell intends to reopen the Metropolis Works plant.

“As the only domestic uranium conversion facility, Honeywell’s Metropolis Works facility has been an important national strategic asset, well-positioned to satisfy UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) demand both in the U.S. and abroad,” said Mike Hockey, Honeywell’s director of external communications.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Honeywell plans to restart production at Metropolis Works in early 2023, with preparations beginning this year. Honeywell will hire 160 full-time employees as well as contractors by the end of next year.

“We’re proud to bring these jobs back to the Metropolis community to meet the needs of our customers,” Hockey said.

“It is especially encouraging to hear this announcement after the difficult economic times we’ve experienced this past year with the pandemic and with the reports of other potential closures in the area,” said State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis). “I was excited to hear the news that Honeywell’s Metropolis facility will be restarting production in early 2023. The addition of 160 full-time jobs will be a tremendous boost to Massac County and the entire region.”

Honeywell Metropolis Works has been in a “ready-idle” status with a reduced amount of material on site for three years. In November 2017, Honeywell announced 170 of the 200 full-time hourly and salaried employees were being reduced in the first quarter of 2018 at the Metropolis plant because the nuclear industry at the time was oversupplied with UF6 worldwide and global demand for nuclear fuel had dropped 15%. At the time, demand was not anticipated to rise before 2020, therefore, Honeywell temporarily idled the plant’s UF6 production while maintaining minimal operations to support a future restart should business conditions improve.

Meanwhile, Honeywell retained a local workforce of about 23 Honeywell employees and 21 contractors to support minimal operations.