BASF is restructuring its production of polyamide 6 in Europe. In the future, production will be bundled at BASF’s two Verbund sites in Antwerp, Belgium, and Ludwigshafen, Germany. The production of polyamide 6 at a third European production site in Rudolstadt in the German state of Thuringia will be discontinued at the end of 2010.
“By focusing on the large, backward-integrated Verbund sites, we are improving our cost basis and safeguarding our competitiveness in the European polyamide 6 market,” explained Dr. Harald Lauke, head of BASF’s Performance Polymers division.
The restructuring measure will result in the loss of 58 positions in Rudolstadt. “We will work closely with the employee representatives to find socially responsible solutions for the employees,” said Manfred Heckmann, managing director of BASF Performance Polymers GmbH. BASF will continue to operate a compounding plant for the production of engineering plastics in Rudolstadt.
In Ludwigshafen, production will focus on higher margin products. The resulting optimization of production processes and the reduction of production capacity will eliminate 19 positions. The affected employees will be offered other positions at BASF SE in Ludwigshafen. In total, these measures in Europe will reduce BASF’s annual worldwide polymerization capacity by 40,000 tons to 680,000 tons (polyamide 6 and 6.6). This corresponds to a reduction of about 6 percent.
BASF is one of the world’s leading suppliers of polyamide. The material is used in the production of engineering plastics employed in the automotive, electric & electronic, furniture and leisure industries. Other uses for polyamide include the manufacture of carpet fibers, textiles and packaging.