Chemicals group Dow is to begin a restructuring programme that will mean more than 2000 job losses. Where the cuts will bite won’t be clear for several months, but the 6% reduction in its workforce – together with closing some uncompetitive plants – is expected to save $300 million (£235 million) annually.
Chief executive Jim Fitterling said the cuts had to be made to ‘maintain competiveness while the economic recovery gains traction’.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has driven strong growth in demand for its polymers in flexible food, industrial and consumer packaging, as well as in health and hygiene applications, that was offset by reduced demand for the higher margin functional polymers used in vehicles and construction. Sales of polyurethanes and construction chemicals fell 28%, and performance materials and coatings were down 21% in the second quarter, compared to the same period in 2019.
Reporting second quarter net losses of $225 million, Fitterling said the company expected ‘a gradual and uneven recovery’. It has restarted three polyethylene plants that were temporarily closed, although two elastomer facilities in the US remain idle.
Later this week, other major chemicals companies will reveal how they’ve fared in the second quarter. Financial services firm S&P Global says that in north America, ‘the timing and extent of a recovery is still murky’. It expects an increase in activity in the automotive and construction sectors to contribute to a recovery in demand for chemicals.
By: Angeli Mehta
Source: Chemistry World
Lin will become the company’s Chief Transformation and Talent Officer. She will be responsible for Human Resources, Strategy and Business Consulting and drive the accelerated transformation of Bayer.
Johnson Matthey plc (JM; London) has confirmed that its battery cathode materials plant in Konin, Poland, will be powered solely by electricity from renewable sources from day one of production.
Britain’s Oxford University has received a donation of £100 million (112 million euros, $136 million) to research growing resistance to antibiotics, the university announced on Tuesday. The sum, from British chemicals multinational Ineos, is one of the largest donations given to Oxford University in its long history.