Unable to cope with the non-competitive operating costs of small plant, Basell has arrived at a decision to stop producing polypropylene at the Varennes, Quebec site in April 2008, after operating the plant for almost thirty years. The plant is expected to continue normal operations until the time it ceases production. In the late eighties, the initial slurry technology was replaced at Varennes with a single Spheripol process plant. However, as a stand alone site with small capacity, the operating costs at the plant cease to be competitive.
This decision follows Basell's earlier decision to stop producing polypropylene at its Sarnia, Ontario site in mid-2008. Production will be shifted from the two Canadian facilities to other Basell and Basell-affiliate sites which utilize advanced Spheripol or Spherizone process technologies. In addition to being more cost effective, this will also allow the company to improve its portfolio of grades and enhance overall product quality to benefit customers.
In today´s difficult business climate, economies of scale, along with the ability to produce innovative, differentiated products, are essential for growth and continued success.