Eastman Pulls the Plug on Perennial Wood

Eastman Chemical announced that the Perennial Wood product line will be discontinued.

By By Mike Beirne, Editor | January 31, 2014

Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., announced  that it is discontinuing the Perennial Wood product line.

“A lot of talented Eastman employees and external partners worked very hard on this project, and this outcome is not a reflection of their dedication or hard work,” Tim Dell, the parent company’s vice president of innovation, marketing, and pricing said in a statement. “Additionally this decision was not made based on product performance, but rather the challenging economics of the product market.”

Perennial Wood was introduced in 2012 as an outdoor decking product. Through Eastman’s proprietary acetylation process, the cellular structure of Southern Pine was modified by heat, pressure, and organic compounds into a treated wood product capable of carrying a 25-year limited warranty against rot, decay, and movement.

Eastman had built a new acetylation manufacturing facility in Kingsport to launch Perennial Wood, the specialty chemical company’s first direct-to-consumer product since it sold charcoal briquettes in the 1930s. By last year the division had distribution in the South Atlantic and Mid Atlantic regions through such partners as Lowe’s, Boston Cedar, and Snavely Forest Products and was considering expanding into Midwest test markets.

No further explanation for the shutdown was available beyond Eastman’s statement that that chemical company “is committed to creating consistent, superior value for all its stakeholders and this includes maximizing the value of its portfolio of products.” The $9.1-billion company derives 13 percent of its annual revenue from products, chemicals, and polymers used in the building and construction industries. Perennial Wood products will be available in the market while supplies last, and Eastman said it will honor the 25-year limited warranty for product sold at retail. Warranties must be registered within 30 days of purchase.


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