Ludwigshafen, Germany -- Following the acquisition and integration of Ciba into its global pigments business, BASF said it will "eliminate specific products and adapt production capacities to market developments," resulting in the loss of around 500 jobs worldwide by 2013.
The measures, which mainly concern azo pigments and phthalocyanines, will begin in 2010 through to 2013. The company currently employs 2900 staff in pigment production at 22 production sites, a 12 April company statement said.
"At six sites in North and South America as well as in Europe we will close individual production plants. At six other sites in Asia and Europe, we will expand existing capacities or make better use of them," explained Markus Kramer, president of BASF's Dispersions & Pigments division.
Around 320 position will be cut in Europe, mainly affecting Paisley, Great Britain, and Grenzach, Germany. Around 90 positions will be cut at BASF's Guaratinguetá, Brazil facility, while in North America around 80 jobs will be cut at BASF sites in Louisville, Kentucky and Elyria, Ohio.
"By streamlining our portfolio we will mainly eliminate overlaps with our combined portfolio," said Andreas Türk, group vice president, BASF unit Global Restructuring Management Pigments. "At the same time we are reducing capacities," Türk said, adding that all sites not directly involved in the consolidation will undergo regular optimisation checks.
Krame said that customers will be given enough time to adjust to the upcoming changes. "Our main target is to improve efficiency and to ensure a sustainable and successful positioning for our pigment business in the marketplace," he added.
BASF acquired Ciba in 2009 to strengthen its portfolio and expand its position in specialty chemicals, especially in the plastics and coatings industries and water treatment.
For the polyurethanes business, Ciba supplies various protective additives from its significant plastics additives unit. BASF has a major polyurethanes business supplying the basic raw materials of isocyanates and polyols as well as formulated systems and specialities such as thermoplastic polyurethanes and PU elastomer parts. (RD)