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Orion Engineered Carbon to Restructure Carbon Black Production in Europe

Published December 3, 2013
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Following an intensive review of its European carbon black operations, Orion Engineered Carbons GmbH will cease production at its Sines, Portugal facility by the end of 2013, affecting immediately about 36 of the 40 positions at the plant. 

The shutdown will take place while investments are being made in the company’s other carbon black plants.  The restructuring investments will increase manufacturing efficiencies enabling Orion to better meet customer needs in response to today’s highly competitive environment dominated by volatile raw material and high energy costs.

Jack Clem, Orion’s CEO, said that in order for the company to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace, it must fully utilize the capabilities of its carbon black operations, concentrating resources at more efficient facilities that can compete in today’s challenging environment. 

“Orion remains committed to significant investments needed to maintain its position as the leading producer of specialty carbon blacks and a major supplier of carbon blacks to the tire and rubber industries worldwide,” he added.  “Realignment of the company’s manufacturing operations in Europe will allow Orion to better serve the market and respond more efficiently to customer needs. 

“We regret the impact this restructuring will have on our employees and their families,” said Clem.  “The men and women who work in our Sines carbon black operation have contributed significantly to our success over the many years it has been in existence." 

Clem said Orion will assist employees directly impacted by the closure through outplacement assistance including job search and counseling, and severance benefits.

According to Clem, once manufacturing has ceased the plant would continue to ship carbon black products until depletion of existing stocks to fulfill existing customer commitments.  After this, the site will be deactivated.

Sines is a municipality located exactly in the center of the southwest coast of Portugal, 150 kilometers from Lisbon.  The facility began operations in 1983 as Carbogal Carbonos de Portugal SA owned by Petrogal (now Galp Energia). It was purchased by Orion Engineered Carbons predecessor Degussa AG, from whom it licensed its technology, in 1997.


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