01 April 1999 10:43 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--DSM is closing its 70 000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant at Gelsenkirchen, Germany this month.
The Dutch group said Thursday that capacity increases at existing PP plants in Geleen, The Netherlands and Gelsenkirchen had made the unit surplus to requirements. It will be shut completely later this month.
A spokesman for DSM told CNI that total employment at the company's Gelsenkirchen complex would remain at about 510. "There will be no job reductions from closure of the PP plant," he said.
Workers will be redeployed within the Gelsenkirchen complex where a new 250 000 tonne/year PP plant is due onstream in the second quarter of 2000. DSM also has two existing PP plants at Gelsenkirchen which have a combined capacity of around 200 000 to 250 000 tonne/year. Its three PP plants at Geleen have a combined capacity of about 550 000 to 600 000 tonne/year.
Closure of the 70 000 tonne Gelsenkirchen unit will temporarily reduce DSM's total PP capacity to around 800 000 tonne. Startup of the new plant at Gelsenkirchen will boost total capacity to around 1.05m tonne.
DSM was unable to quantify the cost of closing the smaller German unit but pointed out that its size and age made it less efficient than larger and more modern plants.
No official estimate of the precise number of people employed on the redundant unit was available. However, it is believed to be a "few dozen".
Closure comes only a few months after DSM confirmed that its total PP output had been reduced by about 10-15% because of weak market conditions.
The DSM spokesman said all its PP plants, with the exception of the 70 000 tonne Gelsenkirchen unit, were now being run at "normal capacity".
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