Huntsman Polyurethanes plans to close the manufacturing end of its West Deptford, N.J., facility by the end of this year and eliminate the jobs of 35 of its 125 employees at the site.
The cutbacks are part of an initiative begun in November by parent Huntsman LLC to reduce fixed costs and overhead expenses by a minimum of $200 million throughout the global group of Huntsman companies during the next 18 months.
The manufacturing portion of the 120,000-square-foot site is a small operation, a spokeswoman said.
About 18 workers are involved in making specialty polyols for footwear and automotive goods.
That production will be shifted to Huntsman Polyurethanes' Geismar, La., factory.
She said the West Deptford facility will continue operating and Huntsman Polyurethanes' Americas headquarters, research and development, and sales unit will remain at the site.
Six employees already have been laid off at the West Deptford plant. The remaining cuts will be made during the course of 2004. Those cuts may involve transfers, retirements or layoffs, and will be made across-the-board, the spokeswoman said.
Under the Huntsman initiative, the Americas segment, which includes other plants, will trim 42 jobs in 2004, she said.
``This is a companywide initiative. And we'll continue looking at ways to reduce costs,'' she added.
Peter R. Huntsman, president and chief executive officer of Huntsman Corp., said in announcing the streamlining plan last November that the chemical industry has been in an extreme slump for the last three years.
The resulting squeeze on profitability forces companies fundamentally to change their way of doing business, he said.
Huntsman's six business segments have developed cost-reduction plans to meet the $200 million goal, the company said. In addition, the firm is reducing costs by increasing the use of shared services across its businesses, and site consolidations are a possibility.