Covestro close MDI plant in Spain; cuts 120 jobs

Covestro to close MDI plant in Spain; cuts 120 jobs

4:42 AM, 8th December 2015
Covestro to close MDI plant in Spain; cuts 120 jobs
Covestro to close its 170000 m.t./year methylene di-para-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) plant at Tarragona, Spain. (File photo)

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY: Covestro AG said that it is in plans to close its methylene di-para-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) production facility in Tarragona, Spain, by the end of 2017. The capacity of the plant is 170,000 metric tonne per year.

The reason for the planned closure, which could affect about 120 jobs, is the non-competitive production cost. Other activities at the site, which comprise a local polyurethane systems house, hydrochloric acid logistics and infrastructure facilities, are to be retained.

A detailed analysis regarding competitive future supply of chlorine, an essential element for MDI production, suggested that the site can no longer remain competitive as an MDI production facility in Europe.

“We have to continuously work on our competitiveness. This also includes an optimal positioning of our production operations as a basic prerequisite for maintaining our leading competitive positions,” said Dr Joachim Wolff, head of the polyurethanes business unit, Covestro. “The chemical park will have new opportunities for development as a hydrochloric acid logistics centre for Spain. And with our infrastructure, it remains attractive to new tenants.”

Hydrochloric acid is used for various activities such as the treatment of ores, processing of metals and water treatment.

“The Tarragona site will be retained and is open to new external investments. The top priority, however, is to ensure that the pending job cuts are implemented in accordance with the applicable procedures and as socially responsibly as possible,” said Jesus Loma-Ossorio, head of Covestro, Iberia.

MDI is an important component for the production of rigid polyurethane foam. This is used for the efficient thermal insulation of buildings and throughout the entire cold chain. The energy savings achieved help to reduce CO2 emissions. In addition, applications in modern vehicle construction provide for enhanced safety.

© Worldofchemicals News

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