The world's biggest chemicals maker, BASF (IW 1000/33), said Tuesday it would shut down two plants for making expandable polystyrene in Malaysia and India due to overcapacity.
"BASF will shut down the plants at its sites in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia and Thane, India. The plan is to stop production by the end of the year," the group said.
The move "has become inevitable due to the high EPS (expandable polystyrene) overcapacities in Asia Pacific that have developed in recent years."
This overcapacity has led to "extremely low margins which make our operations in India and Malaysia uneconomic," said unit chief Giorgio Greening.
The Malaysia plant currently employs a workforce of 60, while the Indian factory employs 55 and combined annual production capacity of the two sites was "more than 100,000 metric tons," BASF said, adding it would "work with employees affected by the shutdowns to find the right transition plan."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012