Total Petrochemicals France presented a plan at a special meeting of the Central Works Council recently, to invest approximately EUR 230 mln increase the energy efficiency and competitive strength of the steamcracker and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit in Gonfreville and to consolidate polystyrene production at the Carling facility, in response to structural decline in markets. In addition, the loss-making units including low-density polyethylene line in Carling in eastern France and a low-density polyethylene line and a polystyrene line in Gonfreville in northwestern France, will be shut.
The plan will streamline production facility organization, concentrate customer technical support currently provided in part from Mont in southwestern France, at the Feluy complex in Belgium, and rescale Paris headquarters operations to the company's new scope. The Lacq Research Center in southwestern France will be expanded to focus on state-of-the-art activities for all of Total's businesses. Furthermore, Total Petrochemicals France will also shut the Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon facility in northwestern France following the sole customer's termination of the supply contract for secondary butyl alcohol. The company is not planning any layoffs and is committed to finding appropriate solutions for the employees concerned by the 306 jobs that will be lost through 2012, with an emphasis on internal placement.