Clariant has informed its approximately 50 employees at its Coventry, RI site that it will move its current operations at the site to the Charlotte, NC area by the end of the third quarter of 2010. Approximately 30 of those workers – principally employed in technical, sales, marketing and business support for the company’s Pigments and Additives businesses – will be offered the opportunity to transfer to Charlotte, where the company’s North American business services are centered.
Clariant ceased production at the Coventry pigment-manufacturing site at yearend 2008 as it shifted production to locations in Germany and Mexico. The company focused its efforts at Coventry in 2009 on the necessary cleaning and decommissioning of the former manufacturing areas so that redevelopment opportunities could be pursued.
“As part of our company’s restructuring process, Clariant is evaluating its entire global network of sites. We concluded that consolidating these activities in Charlotte alongside comparable positions that support our businesses in North America will allow us to achieve significant efficiency and cost synergies while reducing our region’s structural complexity,” said Kenneth L. Golder, head of Clariant’s North American region. Golder said ongoing environmental activities at the Coventry site, including an in-progress groundwater remediation program, will continue unabated.
Employees who elect not to transfer to the Charlotte region or whose positions are not eligible for transfer will be offered severance arrangements based on years of service with the company. The severance arrangements also include outplacement assistance. The earliest job transfers are expected to begin around April 1 and to conclude by Sept. 30.
Rhodes Technologies is unaffected by Clariant’s decision.
Hamilton, N.J.-based International Process Plants (IPP) will purchase two former production buildings and equipment as well as 34 acres on which they are located. IPP is an international buyer and reseller of chemical plants, industrial real estate and process equipment.
Clariant is actively pursuing further redevelopment of its remaining property at the Coventry site, Mr. Golder said. He noted that Coventry town officials and local economic development professionals “have been extremely cooperative and helpful” in assisting with the necessary work to allow maximum flexibility in redeveloping the property.
"North America is one of the world's leading markets for pigments and we fully intend to build our business even further here and to increase our market share," said Chuck Jones, Pigments business head of operations in North America. "Relocating our business services to Charlotte should be a seamless transition for our customers. Our conveniently located sales and technical specialists throughout North America will remain close to our customers to continue to provide them excellent support."