Volume 88 Issue 16 | p. 9 | News of The Week
Issue Date: April 13, 2010

BASF Restructures Pigments Business

Plant Closures: Program will eliminate 500 jobs worldwide
Department: Business | Collection: Economy
Keywords: pigments, job cuts, restructuring
BASF's Paliocrom orange pigments are used mainly for automotive coatings.
Credit: BASF
BASF's Paliocrom orange pigments are used mainly for automotive coatings.
Credit: BASF

In a restructuring that follows its 2009 acquisition of Ciba, BASF is consolidating its global pigment business. The German company will cut about 500 jobs out of 2,900 in pigment production and close six plants worldwide.

The measures, which mainly involve azo pigments and phthalocyanines, will begin this year and are expected to be completed by 2013. BASF currently operates 22 pigment plants around the world.

In Europe, about 320 positions will be cut at former Ciba sites in Paisley, Scotland, and Grenzach, Germany. A site in Maastricht, the Netherlands, will also be affected. About 90 positions will be cut in Guaratinguetá, Brazil, where BASF has long operated a facility. And pigment plants will close in Louisville, Ky., and Elyria, Ohio, affecting 80 positions. BASF acquired the U.S. sites as part of its 2006 purchase of Engelhard.

At the same time, six BASF plants will either be expanded or revamped for better efficiency. For example, the complex inorganic color pigments the company makes in Elyria will be transferred to Besigheim, Germany. Azo pigments made in Louisville will be transferred to BASF plants in Ulsan, South Korea, and Paisley. Sites in Qingdao and Shanghai, China; Monthey, Switzerland; and Ludwigshafen, Germany, will also get investment.

"By streamlining our portfolio we will mainly eliminate overlaps within our combined portfolios. At the same time we are reducing overcapacities," says Andreas Türk, group vice president of a BASF unit called global restructuring management-pigments.

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