BASF to Sell Styrene Monomer Plant

BASF has announced that it will sell its styrene monomer site in Ulsan, Korea, to SK Energy, a South Korean refining company. The contract comprises the plant with a capacity of 320,000 metric tons of styrene monomer per year and the 50,000 square meter site, which is situated within SK's production complex . The two companies have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.

Hyung Tae Chang, Group Vice President Styrenics Asia explained: "The styrene monomer plant in Ulsan has been idled since October 2008 because of an oversupply in the regional market. We are now obtaining styrene monomer from other sources and will continue to supply our Asian customers with the plastics polystyrene, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer (ABS) and expandable polystyrene (EPS) from a production plant at another BASF site in Ulsan." The sale will affect 34 employees, most of whom have accepted early retirement programs.

Joachim Streu, President of BASF's global Styrenics unit added: "We are working intensively to restructure and significantly improve profitability in the styrenics value chain. In order to shape the business sustainably, we are considering all options, including capacity reductions such as the closure of an 80,000 ton per year polystyrene plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany, in June 2009."

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