Bayer AG's Bayer MaterialScience plans to stop production of MDI polyurethane at its plant near Rio de Janeiro in July, removing 55,000 metric tons per year of MDI production from the market, according to a company announcement.
Additionally, around 15,000 metric tons per year of polyether polyols and a small unit making raw materials for the coating industry will close at the same time, the company said.
Bayer added that internal analyses show it is too expensive to make these products in Belford Roxo compared to other sites.
Around 320 employees will be affected by the closure and BMS is working with Bayer CropScience and Bayer HealthCare to transfer as many workers as possible to other divisions. BMS said it is working with the local works councils and trade unions on severance packages for the remaining workers.
The Belford Roxo plant opened in 1983, and had capacity of 45 metric tons per year of MDI and a splitter with capacity of 13,000 metric tons annually as of 2005. At that time Bayer was pondering a boost in MDI for Brazil by adding a further 10,000 tonnes per year capacity. Bayer was importing around 10,000 tonnes per year TDI into Brazil and an equivalent amount of polyols. At the time it was the only isocyanate producer on the continent.
In a statement, the company said it has “no further MDI production in Latin America.”
It said: “Bayer MaterialScience operates globally, so deliveries can be made from several sources. We will continue to serve local customers.”