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Polymer and additives maker BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany) has announced a reorganization of its business units, which it is billing as a way to become closer to its customers and provide greater cyclical resilience but on the face appears to be a maneuver to easily off-load its underproductive commodity styrenics division either in a joint venture or to an investor. The company is moving its specialty plastics and foams businesses away from the styrenics division to the performance polymer sector. A company spokesman says, This structure reflects on the one hand the planned divestiture of the business with standard styrenics. On the other hand, by combining its competence in specialty plastics and foams with ... performance polymers, BASF is able to offer its customers optimal solutions for their requirements.
In similar news, Dow (Midland, MI) and Chevron Phillips Chemical (Woodlands, TX) have announced a management team for their proposed styrenics joint venture. The new company, to be known as Americas Styrenics, will be headquartered in Houston, TX and led by Tim Roberts as president and CEO. He is currently styrenics general manager for Chevron Phillips Chemicals. This new company will have a staff of about 600. Dow intends to contribute six polystyrene plants (Torrance, CA; Gales Ferry, CT; Ironton, OH; Joliet, IL; Guaruja, Brazil; and Cartagena, Colombia) but not its Camacari, Brazil facility. Chevron Phillips brings in a styrene monomer plant at St. James, LA and a polystyrene site in Marietta, OH. If things go as planned, the joint venture should begin operations during the first quarter of next year.[email protected]