FRANKFURT—Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH is shutting down production at its Sines, Portugal, plant by the end of the year, immediately affecting 36 of 40 positions at the facility.
The decision was made after the company reviewed its European carbon black operations.
According to the company, investments are being made at the firm's other carbon black plants to increase efficiencies to meet customer needs in what the company calls "today's highly competitive environment dominated by volatile raw material and high energy costs."
Orion CEO Jack Clem said the firm must put its resources at its more efficient carbon black operations in order to remain competitive. Clem said Orion will assist employees impacted by the closure with assistance including job search, counseling and severance benefits.
"We regret the impact this restructuring will have on our employees and their families," Clem said. "The men and women who work in our Sines carbon black operation have contributed significantly to our success over the many years it has been in existence."
Clem said once manufacturing has ended at the plant, it would continue to ship carbon black products to fill customer commitments until the stock has been depleted. After that, the site will be dormant.
The Sines facility began operations in 1983 as Carbogal Carbonos de Portugal S.A., owned by Petrogal, now Galp Energia It was purchased by Orion Engineered Carbons predecessor Degussa A.G., from which it licensed its technology in 1997.
Orion Engineered Carbons offers standard and high-performance products for coatings, printing inks, polymers, rubber and other applications. It has 1,400 employees worldwide and runs 14 global production sites and four Applied Technology Centers, focusing on quality supply and collaborative partnerships with customers.