Processing Magazine

Dow to eliminate 750 jobs, close 3 plants

September 5, 2006

According to the Associated Press, Dow Chemical Co. said it plans to close three plants in an effort to trim $160 million in annual structural costs by 2009. The move is expected to eliminate about 750 jobs. Targeted for shutdowns are the company''s facilities in Sarnia, Ontario; Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta; and Venice, Italy. Spokesman Chris Huntley said other smaller plants also will be targeted. The decision was driven by pressures to keep costs low and remain globally competitive, said Andrew N. Liveris, chairman and chief executive of Midland-based Dow Chemical, the world''s second-largest chemical company. The company plans to shut down the Fort Saskatchewan facility by the end of October. All production activity will cease at the Sarnia facility by the end of 2008, while some plants there will begin closing over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the company decided not to restart production at a facility in Venice after it was shut down in early August for maintenance. The company said it expects to pay roughly $550 million to $650 million in charges, including severance pay. The final cost will be reflected in the company''s third-quarter results for the current year. The company has shut down more than 50 manufacturing facilities worldwide in the past three years. It has annual sales of $46 billion and employs about 42,000 people.