BASF to consolidate alumina adsorbents at Vidalia, Louisiana

07 December 2011 19:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--BASF will invest $20m (€15m) over the next 18 months to upgrade and expand its activated alumina adsorbents plant at Vidalia, Louisiana, where it plans to consolidate that product’s regional manufacturing, the Germany-based chemicals major said on Wednesday.

BASF said it would transfer production from a smaller adsorbents plant at Port Allen, Louisiana, to Vidalia.

At Port Allen, where BASF employs about 20 people, production is expected to be discontinued in 2013. 

Joseph Jones, a spokesman at BASF’s North America headquarters in Iselin, New Jersey, told ICIS that the company does not expect “any major job cuts” from the measure.

Rather, about eight to ten new jobs would be created at Vidalia, Jones said.

Meanwhile, BASF will work over the next 18 months to transfer staff from Port Allen to Vidalia, where the company currently employs about 50 people. Alternatively, BASF may transfer some staff to its nearby petrochemicals site at Geismar, Louisiana, the spokesman said.

Gary Hutchison, BASF’s site manager for both Port Allen and Vidalia, said the company had set up a detailed project plan to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for customers and employees.

Hans-Peter Neumann, BASF senior vice president of process catalysts and technologies, added: “We will make substantial improvements to our manufacturing infrastructure in Vidalia to optimise our production efficiencies and position BASF to cost-effectively meet increasing demand for our high-quality adsorbent products.”

Capacity details were not disclosed.

The company’s activated alumina adsorbents are used in catalysts, hydrogen peroxide production, chloride and fluoride removal, as well as petrochemical purification, air drying and other processes.

The company significantly expanded it presence in the catalysts market following its acquisition of US producer Engelhard in 2006. Both Vidalia and Port Allen are former Engelhard plants.

($1 = €0.75)

For more on BASF and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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