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BASF EPS unit set for cuts and closures

By: Anthony Clark

September 18, 2012

LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY (Sept. 18, 8:30 a.m. ET) — Sliding margins and overcapacity in the EPS market has forced BASF SE into realigning its Styropor business, the company has revealed. This will include the closure of its EPS plants in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia and Thane, India.

“These measures are part of BASF’s global strategy to foster value-oriented growth and will ensure that we remain competitive in markets where we add long-term value both to our customers’ businesses and to BASF,” said Wolfgang Hapke, president of BASF’s performance polymers division.

“The closure of BASF’s Styropor plants in Malaysia and India has become inevitable due to the high EPS overcapacities in Asia Pacific that have developed in recent years. These overcapacities have led to extremely low margins which make our operations in India and Malaysia uneconomic,” added Giorgio Greening, BASF’s head of its global business unit for foams.

In South America the company is looking to divest its EPS operations, Greening added.

“The carve-out of the Styropor business in Brazil and Argentina will help us to be flexible with regards to future strategic options. For the Styropor business in Chile the strategic evaluation is still underway,” he explained.