Charles Ross & Son completes expansion
HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. — Charles Ross & Son Co. has finished a 16,000-square-foot expansion at its plant in Savannah, Ga., which houses the main fabrication operation for the Hauppauge-based firm.
The company builds equipment for mixing, blending, drying and dispersion.
The expansion gives the Savannah factory more than 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Ross Engineering added metal processing equipment, including angle bending equipment, bending rolls and several new fitting and welding stations.
A new straight-through layout in Savannah enables Ross Engineering to receive materials at one end and ship completed machines out the other.
Ross Engineering also said it redesigned its laboratory vertical blender. The blender is designed for vacuum operation. It includes a jacketed vessel wall for heating and cooling. A high-speed chopper on the bottom sidewall can reduce lumps or control particle size. Capacity sizes range from 100-500 cubic feet.
BASF plans to close facility in Belgium
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — BASF AG has agreed to close its small PVC and vinyl chloride monomer plant at Zandvliet, Belgium, with formation of the group's recently announced European PVC joint venture with Solvay SA.
In addition, Brussels-based Solvay will shut down its small plant in Lillo, Belgium, which produces ethylene and chlorine chemical compound, used as the basis for VCM production.
The Zandvliet plant, part of BASF's huge Antwerp chemicals complex, has 286 million-pound-a-year PVC capacity and 375 million pounds of VCM, according to BASF of Ludwigshafen, Germany.
The two plants are being shut down because they are too small and, in global terms, uncompetitive, according to Solvay.
A BASF spokesman said the group would hope to place most of the displaced Zandvliet workers elsewhere in its Antwerp complex. Meanwhile, the joint venture intends to modernize existing PVC and VCM capacities on other European sites according to market demand.
The joint venture, to be called Solvin Holding GmbH, should be formed by mid-1999. Solvay will own 75 percent of it.
Britain's BASF plc cutting 260 positions
CHEADLE, ENGLAND — BASF plc, the British subsidiary of German polymer and chemicals giant BASF AG, plans to cut 260 jobs at its engineering plastics raw material manufacturing complex at Seal Sands in Middlesbrough, England.
BASF said the cuts, out of a total work force of 630, will affect all plant departments. The jobs will be phased out during the next 18 months. The plant has an acrylonitrile capacity of 617 million pounds per year.
The layoffs are part of a major restructuring program at the facility, according to Cheadle-based BASF plc.
``The acrylonitrile market has been weak since the beginning of 1998, with significant import quantities coming into Europe eroding spot prices further,'' according to a BASF press release.