MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. (May 7)—BASF Corp. plans to cut about 600 jobs at its Geismar, La., and Freeport, Texas, operations as part of its previously announced restructuring program.
This job reduction program was first announced in August 2003 and targets savings of at least $250 million annually by 2006, the firm said. The present moves are expected to result in annual savings totaling $30 million to $40 million, a company statement said.
Geismar operates annual capacities of 280,000 metric tons of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, 160,000 tons of toluene diisocyanate and a share of its 195,000 tons of polyether polyols output in North America.
"To be a world-class competitor, we must continually strive to be a low-cost manufacturer," Klaus Peter Loebbe, chairman and CEO of BASF Corp., said in the statement. "Our business and industry are challenged by overcapacity, high energy costs, high raw material costs, and the movement of customers to other countries."
The initiatives to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the Geismar and Freeport sites follow a comprehensive review of the operations of both sites, BASF said. As a result, each of the sites has been charged with identifying specific process, productivity and technology enhancements in order to achieve new operating efficiencies.