Global polystyrene and styrene monomer leader Styrolution Group GmbH is making several changes to its global production, including no longer sourcing those materials from a plant in Marl, Germany, by the end of the year.
Styrolution's decision will result in the plant's PS and styrene units being shut down by year's end, according to a spokesman with Ineos Group. British plastics and chemicals firm Ineos co-owns Styrolution and runs the plant.
The site's annual PS capacity is almost 400 million pounds, while its styrene capacity stood at almost 800 million pounds.
All 110 workers at the PS/ styrene units will be offered “alternative roles” with either Ineos or Styrolution, the spokesman said. Ineos will continue to make expanded PS in Marl as well as cumene feedstock. Its annual EPS capacity there is about 240 million pounds.
Frankfurt-based Styrolution announced the Marl move in a March 19 news release, when it also confirmed capacity expansions in Korea and India and improvements to a German plant.
“To maintain and expand our leading market position, implementing our strategic priorities quickly and rigorously is key,” CEO Roberto Gualdoni said in the release.
Ineos Styrenics CEO Gerd Franken said “a review of business strategy by Styrolution has made it clear that the relatively small-scale PS and [styrene] assets at Marl put the two units at a disadvantage in today's market.”
In Ulsan, South Korea, Styrolution will open a new line with almost 90 million pounds of capacity for acrylic styrene acrylonitrile by July.
The move in Vadodara, India, will increase capacity there for ABS and styrene acrylonitrile resins and related compounds by almost 70 million pounds by 2014. The project will meet increased demand and lift the site's capacity to more than 240 million pounds.
In Ludwigshafen, Germany, Styrolution will equip its plant with modern logistics and process controls, as well as other improvements. Work done at the plant — which makes styrenic copolymers — is expected to be wrapped up in early 2013.
Styrolution, formed in October, is a joint venture between Lyndhurst, England-based Ineos and BASF SE of Ludwigshafen. Its annual sales are about $8.3 billion.