By Liz White, UT contributing editorToronto, Canada-ShawCor Ltd has announced that it will close its Bredero Shaw pipe-coating yard at Theodore, near Mobile, Alabama, as soon as existing contract commitments have been completed. The facility, which currently employs some 450 people, made a loss of $14.9 million during the last quarter alone, the company said. ShawCor, which makes polyurethane-coated pipelines for the oil exploration and production sector, said the closure decision follows a drop in demand for the plant's products as a result of a marked slowdown in development work in the Gulf of Mexico.As a result, Toronto-based ShawCor will pay fourth quarter restructuring charges of about $81.8 million, reflecting plant and equipment write-downs and other costs. Current contracts will be completed before operations finish at the site in the second quarter of 2005. Bredero Shaw will continue to service the pipeline industry from its other locations, the firm said. ShawCor suffered a net loss of $8.7 million for the quarter, on sales of $208.9 million, largely as a result of "the continuing poor performance," at Mobile. Despite this imminent closure, the firm said it saw positive developments in the rest of its businesses. In Norway, coating commenced on the Langeled project and pipe-coating results were strong in the Americas onshore market. ShawCor said. Canusa-CPS and Shaw Pipeline Services also posted good results in the quarter. "