Empirical Chemicals Ltd (a)

In: Business and Management

Submitted By spely0663
Words 1506
Pages 7
Empirical Chemicals, LTD (A):
The Merseyside Project

Spencer Ely
FIN 4422
M/W 8am
October 24, 2011

Empirical Chemicals is a worldwide competitor in its industry, but earnings are falling and investors are anxious for improved financial performance. The plant manager of an aging production facility believes it’s the right time for plant modernization in order to make up for deferred maintenance in the past and to increase production efficiency. The Merseyside factory belongs to the Intermediate Chemicals Group and produces polypropylene from propylene, which they receive from four major refineries in England made from crude petroleum. The Merseyside factory has one of the biggest plants and output of polypropylene in the industry, but because the plant was constructed in 1967 the production process is old and operates semi continuously and has higher labor content than its competitors. The plant manager Frances Trelawney and Merseyside’s controller Jim Hawkins has proposed a project that will require a large capital expenditure of $7 million that she believes will help improve the process of production of polypropylene. The project consists of relocating and modernizing tank car unloading areas, refurbishing the polymerization tank to achieve higher pressures and thus greater throughput, and renovating the compounding plant to increase extrusion throughput and obtain energy savings. The project has capital budgeting issues with the focus mainly on the relevant cash flows and Hawkins has produced a discounted cash flow summary with a required return rate of 13%. Some of the issues that affect his discounted cash flow are the sunk cost of $500,000 for preliminary engineering cost, cannibalization of its sister plant in Rotterdam, and the effect of inflation on future cash flows consistent with the discount rate. Some company policies that must be…...

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