BASF will shut down the Styropor plant (EPS, expandable polystyrene) at its site in Tarragona, Spain. The closure is scheduled for August 2009. As a direct consequence of the plant closure and due to the current downturn in BASF's key markets in Spain, the company will also adjust the structure of production services in Tarragona. In total, 85 BASF employees working in production and related services such as maintenance, engineering and logistics are affected by these measures. This amounts to 9 percent of all jobs of BASF Española S.L..
"The decision to close the Styropor plant and to adjust our service structures was difficult. But these measures are crucial to safeguard the sustainable future of our activities at our site in Tarragona," said Gerhard Schwarz, Managing Director of BASF Española and responsible for BASF's activities in Spain and Portugal. BASF has already set up meetings with the works council to find fair solutions for those employees whose jobs will be cut. The goal is to reach an agreement by mid 2009 that will be implemented by March 2010.
The Styropor plant has become uneconomical due to its relatively small production capacity which has resulted in an unfavorable cost-structure. "The decision to close the Styropor plant does not mean that BASF will retreat from the Iberian EPS market," said Giorgio Greening, head of the Global Business Unit Foams. "BASF will continue to supply the region with high-quality EPS from Ludwigshafen, Germany and intends to defend its market share".