LUXEMBOURG—Orion Engineered Carbons is negotiating with with workers at its Ambes, France, facility as part of a restructuring plan that includes downsizing staff and “a potential cessation of production at the site by the end of 2016.”
In a statement on June 3, group CEO Jack Clem said that in order for the group to remain competitive, it must fully utilize the capabilities of its carbon black operations.
He said this meant Orion would concentrate resources at “more efficient facilities and those capable of producing technically special and unique grades.”
“Orion remains committed to maintaining its position as the leading producer of specialty carbon blacks and a major supplier of carbon blacks to the global rubber industry,” he added.
The consolidation of the Orion group's manufacturing operations in Europe, Clem added, would be “another step in improving our sustainability to better serve our existing markets, particularly those requiring more specialized products to meet their end customers' demands.”
The French Orion plant employs approximately 40.
If manufacturing is stopped, said Clem, the plant would be deactivated simultaneously with the depletion of the existing stocks.
Ambes is located in the Aquitaine region in Southwest France, near Bordeaux.
The facility in Ambes was founded by the American Philips Petroleum Co. and Continental Carbon Co. in 1959 and began operations in 1960 as Cofrablack. It was purchased by Degussa, the predecessor to Orion Engineered Carbons, in 1986.