MIDLAND, MICH. (April 2, 3:10 p.m. ET) — Continued weakness in the European economy is leading Dow Chemical Co. to cut 900 jobs worldwide and close at least four plants making expanded polystyrene foam and polyurethane feedstocks.
“These actions, while difficult, are in full alignment with our commitment to continually manage our portfolio to adapt to changing and volatile economic conditions,” Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said in an April 2 news release.
The closing will affect plants making Styrofoam-brand EPS foam in Charleston, Ill.; Estarreja, Portugal; and Balatonfuzo, Hungary. Midland, Mich.-based Dow also will temporarily idle a Styrofoam plant in Terneuzen, the Netherlands.
A plant making PU feedstock toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in Camacari, Brazil, will be closed as well. Unspecified consolidations also will affect Dow's global PU and epoxy businesses. The closings and cuts will be phased in over the next two years. The firm also will cancel “a selection of capital projects.”
Dow ranks as one of the world's largest plastics and chemicals makers. In 2011, the firm posted sales of just under $60 billion, up almost 12 percent vs. 2010.