Dow will close chemicals plants on top of job cuts

Article by Adam Duckett

DOW has announced it will close manufacturing sites in Europe and North America as it seeks to cut costs in response to Covid-19.

The chemicals major said in July that it would make savings of more than US$300m by the end of 2021. This included making 6% of staff – around 2,200 people – redundant. On 30 September, Dow updated its plans, noting it would close a number of manufacturing plants, though has not disclosed their exact locations.

It said the closures would include some amines and solvents facilities in the US and Europe; some small-scale downstream polyurethanes plants; small coating reactors; and siloxane and silicon metal plants in Europe, Canada and the US.

“Given the expected gradual and uneven global economic recovery from Covid-19, we announced in July that we are taking necessary actions to continue to optimise our asset footprint, reduce structural costs and enhance the competitiveness of our business over the long-term,” said Dow CEO Jim Fitterling.

Separately, the company has set targets to reduce operating expenses by US$500m by the end of 2020 and has reduced year-on-year capital expenditure to US$1.35bn from US$2bn last year. It has also sold its rail infrastructure assets at six North American sites for US$310m and announced plans to sell some of its marine and terminal operations to Vopak for US$620m by the end of the year.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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