Bayer Corp. is closing its plastics research and development site in Springfield, Mass., and a similar polyurethanes-focused R&D location in Newtown Square, Pa., by the end of next year.
Pittsburgh-based Bayer, the North American arm of German chemical giant Bayer AG, also is moving 100 engineers from Pittsburgh to Baytown, Texas.
Some of the 50 staffers from the Springfield site will be transferred to Pittsburgh or Addyston, Ohio. About half of the 110 Bayer employees in Newtown Square are expected to relocate to Pittsburgh or South Charleston, W. Va.
The Springfield location, a part of which is leased from nylon maker Solutia Inc., provides R&D as well as technical and marketing support for Bayer's styrenics business. Bayer is the second-largest North American ABS supplier.
Moving Springfield staffers to Pittsburgh and Addyston will allow them ``to work and share ideas with other Bayer scientists, technicians and marketing experts across our entire plastics product portfolio,'' Robert Kumpf, vice president of technology for Bayer's plastics unit, said in a news release.
Bayer officials added that the closing is part of Bayer's effort to improve its competitive position in the North American styrenics market.
The Newtown Square site had been part of Bayer only since late 1999, when the firm acquired most of Lyondell Corp.'s PU business.
The engineer transfer will be completed by the end of 2003 and will reduce Bayer's overhead and travel costs, since a number of them traveled frequently between Pittsburgh and Baytown to consult on plant operations and other projects.
``We're keeping people off of airplanes,'' Bayer spokesman David Reeder said of the move.
Some of the engineers involved in the move work in Bayer's plastics unit, while others work in pharmaceuticals or other Bayer product areas.
Reeder could not specify the level of annual savings that would result from either the Pittsburgh-Bayport move or the Newtown Square closing. A savings estimate for closing the Springfield R&D site also was unavailable.