Volos, Greece – ContiTech Imas SA, the Greek subsidiary ContiTech AG, has stopped production of conveyor belts due to the continuing global economic downturn in commodity markets, particularly the lignite mining industry.
In a statement to ERJ, ContiTech said that a review of its manufacturing footprint and production capabilities had led to the decision to stop conveyor belt production at the Volos plant in March. Approximately 138 employees are affected.
“All production employees left the company on 11 March while administration staff are working to close several tax and labour issues,” ContiTech spokesman Mario Toepfer told ERJ.
The plant was relatively small plant compared with other locations, said Toepfer, noting that ContiTech's conveyor belt business employs about 6.500 worldwide.
In the meantime, he added, ContiTech Imas is selling off its inventory.
According to the ContiTech statement, following the closure, customers will receive service support from other under-utilised facilities throughout the company.
“Lignite mining sector, cement and steel manufacturers as well as other industrial companies are not investing as much as they did several years ago,” explained Hannes Friederichsen, head of the Conveyor Belt Group business unit.
Consequently, he added, ContiTech Imas SA is faced with excess conveyor belt capacity.
“This was a difficult decision and was not taken lightly, but was unavoidable after months of intensive but unsuccessful negotiation,” he went on to say.
ContiTech founded its conveyor belt plant in Volos, Greece, in 1972, and produced steel cord conveyor belts, fabric belts, pulley lagging, and splicing material for the Greek market and for export.
The company’s steel cord manufacturing plant in Greece, Syrma SA, has not been affected by the decision.