LEVERKUSEN, Germany—Lanxess A.G. is shuffling production at two plants and closing a third as part of a plan to streamline both the portfolio and factory network of its Rubber Chemicals business unit.
The realignment of Rubber Chemicals is part of a package of measures to boost competitiveness at Lanxess Performance Chemicals segment's international sites, the company said. It also will enhance efficiency at both plants, according to the firm.
The company will shift production of three grades of vulcanization accelerators among two plants. The production of the Vulkacit DZ and Vulkacit NZ will move from its North American site at the Bushy Park Industrial Complex in Goose Creek, S.C., to its Belgian site in Beveren, Belgium. The Vulkacit CZ production will shift from the Belgian plant to South Carolina.
A company spokesman said no future investment is planned for the South Carolina site, and the number of employees will remain at about 60. Lanxess will discontinue output of the vulcanization accelerator Vulkaict MOZ at the Belgian site and the inhibitors Vulkanox 3011 and Vulkanoc DPPD produced at its plant in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Drechsler said the respective products had reached the end of their market lifecycles.
The company will close the South African site, affecting about 40 employees. The spokesman said responsible solutions will be sought for the staff at both sites in collaboration with the employee representatives.
The Performance Chemicals segment consists of seven independent business units and approximately 6,000 employees worldwide. The company doesn't disclose segment or business investment planning for specific units. The official said Lanxess has a planned capital expenditure budget of about $771.78 million for 2013.
"We continue to invest research and development of new products and applications," he said via email. "Vulkalink for example is a new additive for production of green tires."