PITTSBURGH (Aug. 1)—Bayer Polymers L.L.C. will end production of polyether polyols at its Institute, W.Va., plant by the first quarter of next year and transfer production to other North American sites, principally the one in South Charleston, W.Va. The Institute factory closing will affect 26 employees. The decision is part of an ongoing rationalization of the company's production capacities to improve their utilization rates. Bayer previously discontinued polyol production at its Baytown, Texas, and Rieme, Belgium, facilities and idled a diphenylmethane diisocyanate production unit in New Martinsville, W.Va. Bayer did not disclose any financial or capacity details of the closing. Bayer acquired the South Charleston and Institute plants as part of its purchase of Lyondell Chemical Co.'s polyols in 2000. Institute has been in service since 1970.