ERJ staff report (TP)
Frankfurt, Germany − Following a review of its European carbon black operations, Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH will cease production at its Sines, Portugal facility by the end of 2013 affecting immediately about 36 of the 40 positions at the plant.
The press release said that the shutdown will take place while investments are being made in the company’s other carbon black plants. The restructuring investments will increase manufacturing efficiencies enabling Orion to better meet customer needs in response to today’s highly competitive environment dominated by volatile raw material and high energy costs.
Jack Clem, Orion’s CEO, said: “Orion remains committed to significant investments needed to maintain its position as the leading producer of specialty carbon blacks and a major supplier of carbon blacks to the tire and rubber industries worldwide.”
“We regret the impact this restructuring will have on our employees and their families,” said Clem. “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 Orion will assist employees directly impacted by the closure through outplacement assistance including job search and counselling, and severance benefits.
According to Clem, once manufacturing has ceased the plant would continue to ship carbon black products until depletion of existing stocks to fulfill existing customer commitments. After this, the site will be deactivated.
Sines is a municipality located exactly in the centre of the southwest coast of Portugal, 150km from Lisbon. The facility began operations in 1983 as Carbogal Carbonos de Portugal SA owned by Petrogal [now Galp Energia]. It was purchased by Orion Engineered Carbons predecessor Degussa AG, from whom it licensed its technology, in 1997.
Orion Engineered Carbons has more than 100 years of industry experience, and 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.