Dow, BASF Pare Down


Dow Chemical recently outlined a restructuring plan calling for shutdown of several ethylene-related manufacturing assets in Louisiana, while BASF is reviewing strategic options – including restructuring, sale or closure – for 23 of the 55 former Ciba production sites worldwide it acquired.

Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF, which completed its acquisition of Ciba last month, expects to make a decision on the 23 former Ciba production sites by the first quarter of 2010. BASF said it plans to optimize the remaining 32 Ciba production sites as part of its global network or restructure them. By the end of 2010, BASF also aims to consolidate 36 of the former Cibas 70 sales and administrative offices and research sites with existing BASF activities.

Restructuring plans related to integrating Ciba will include cutting 3,700 positions by 2013, BASF stated, most of which will be eliminated by the end of 2010.

Ciba offers a wide range of lubricant additives, including antioxidants, antiwear agents, metal deactivators, corrosion inhibitors and pour-point depressants. Its process and lubricant additives business falls under Cibas plastic additives segment, which will be integrated into BASFs performance chemicals division.

Midland, Mich.-based Dows restructuring plan includes shutting down three Louisiana assets: an ethylene cracker in Hahnville; an ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol production unit, also in Hahnville; and an ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride monomer facility in Plaquemine. The shutdowns are in addition to numerous other ethylene-derivative closures in Louisiana and Texas that occurred as part of a restructuring program Dow announced in 2008s fourth quarter.

In total, the shutdowns will reduce the companys ethylene demand by about 30 percent on the U.S. Gulf Coast. As a result, Dow expects to eliminate its purchases of ethylene from the merchant market (approximately three billion pounds annually), improving the companys cost position while fully integrating ethylene production with internal demand in order to better meet customer needs, the company said.

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