BASF to close MA facility at Feluy, Belgium, 133 jobs affected

22 October 2009 10:45  [Source: ICIS news]

BASF to close Feluy MA facilityLONDON (ICIS news)--BASF will close its 115,000 tonne/year maleic anhydride (MA) facility at Feluy, Belgium, by the end of the year and withdraw all activities from the site, the German chemicals giant said on Thursday.

Some 133 jobs would be affected and negotiations with union officials would begin as soon as possible, the company said in a statement.

The plant had undergone restructuring in recent years but remained uncompetitive, it added.

“BASF’s MA business is suffering from unsatisfactory profitability due to overcapacity and resulting low margins together with the effects of the current economic crisis,” the company said.

Tom Witzel, Group Vice President Diols & Polyalcohols Europe of BASF’s Intermediates division, said the company would be focusing on core intermediate businesses and Verbund value chains such as butanediol and derivatives, as well as polyalcohols.

Sources in the European MA market said the closure would tighten MA availability.

“Fourth quarter [MA] availability won’t be affected [by the BASF announcement], but the first quarter next year will be a difficult time for the MA market,” one buyer said.

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