Bayer Polymers, a division of Bayer AG will cease production of the rubber cobalt-polybutadiene (CoBR) at its Bayer Buna GmbH plant in Marl. Production is scheduled to end in the first half of 2004.
The decision was taken due to an accelerated drop in demand for this product.
The plant had a capacity of 45,000 tons and employs some 240 people of which 75 will be affected. The other staff are involved with the production of EPDM rubber, which will also remain unaffected by the closure.
Butadiene rubbers are used in tyres and plastics such as high impact polystyrene (HIPS) as a modifier. However, cobalt polybutadiene is increasingly being replaced by lithium polybutadiene in HIPS, necessitating the plants closure, in view of the corporate strategy to improve profitability.
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