Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) will consolidate its materials technology centers in Pittsfield, Mass., and Exton, Pa., into its Selkirk, N.Y., location in 2017.
The move will result in the closing of the firm's Polymer Processing Development Center (PPDC) in Pittsfield and of its tech center in Exton. An unspecified number of jobs will transfer from those sites to Selkirk. The PPDC has been a showcase for Sabic materials and cutting-edge plastics processing technology since 1989.
“This integration…will merge material science, process engineering and application development into a collaborative environment,” technology and innovation executive vice president Awadh Al-Maker said in a Dec. 2 news release.
Technology and innovation vice president Thierry Materne added in the release that “a collaborative R&D environment will result in a wide variety of problem-solving options for our customers.”
The consolidation will occur as soon as “necessary modifications” are made to the Selkirk site, which is about 40 miles west of Pittsfield. Sabic's Selkirk operations include a compounding plant and a technology center.
The tech consolidation announcement comes less than two months after Sabic — based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — said that the firm was dissolving its Innovative Plastics unit and closing the unit's headquarters in Pittsfield. Sabic IP ranks as one of the world's largest polycarbonate makers.
Some of the 300 headquarters employees in Pittsfield will transfer to Sabic offices in the Houston area. In addition to Lexan-brand PC, Sabic makes several specialty resins including Noryl-brand PPE, Ultem-brand polyetherimide, Cycolac-brand ABS and LNP-brand compounds.
The business that is now Sabic IP has been based in Pittsfield in some form since 1903, when General Electric Co. bought the Stanley Electric Manufacturing plant there. GE began making phenolic plastic resins in Pittsfield in 1909. Sabic bought the GE Plastics unit from GE for $11.6 billion in 2006.