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Koppers Announces Plans to Enter the Copper Naphthenate Market

General News

Koppers Holdings, Inc. (“Koppers”), an integrated global provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals and carbon compounds, announced plans to enter the copper naphthenate wood preservative market.  This approach is consistent with its strategy to grow its presence in wood preservation markets.  Koppers is actively evaluating opportunities to develop in-house manufacturing capabilities of copper naphthenate to further its vertical integration business model.  In addition, the company may also consider entering into supply arrangements with one or more source(s), as appropriate.

This move partially fills an industry gap left by Cabot Microelectronics’ (“Cabot”) previously announced decision to exit the production of pentachlorophenol (“penta”). Penta is estimated at a market size of approximately $40 million and is one of three major treatment alternatives (chromated copper arsenate and creosote being the other two) currently used in the treatment of utility poles in North America.  Koppers does not manufacture penta and after a careful analysis has decided against doing so due to the likelihood of increased regulatory pressure.  Koppers does treat with penta and will continue to support its customers while assisting them in making the transition to a preservative choice that best fits their needs.   The future of penta was significantly jeopardized when it was named as a Persistent Organic Pollutant (“POP”) by the Stockholm Convention’s POP Review Committee in 2015 and targeted for elimination or restriction by the Convention’s 183 member countries.  With Cabot’s exit announcement in November 2019, it is anticipated that the supply will cease or decline significantly by the end of 2021.

President and Chief Executive Officer Leroy Ball commented, “We take seriously our responsibility as stewards in the industries we serve, given that our products play a significant role in the global infrastructure.  The transition from penta to other preservative systems represents an important decision point for the utility industry, and we plan to assist in every way we can to help customers understand the pros and cons of each system so that they are in a position to make an informed choice.”

About Koppers

Koppers, with corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an integrated global provider of treated wood products, wood treatment chemicals and carbon compounds.  Our products and services are used in a variety of niche applications in a diverse range of end-markets, including the railroad, specialty chemical, utility, residential lumber, agriculture, aluminum, steel, rubber, and construction industries.  Including our joint ventures, we serve our customers through a comprehensive global manufacturing and distribution network, with facilities located in North America, South America, Australasia, China and Europe.  The stock of Koppers Holdings Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “KOP.”  For more information, visit us on the Web:


Michael J. Zugay – CFO – – (412) 227-2231

Source: Koppers Holdings, Inc.