DOW has announced it will close manufacturing sites in Europe and North America as it seeks to cut costs in response to Covid-19.
The chemicals major said in July that it would make savings of more than US$300m by the end of 2021. This included making 6% of staff – around 2,200 people – redundant. On 30 September, Dow updated its plans, noting it would close a number of manufacturing plants, though has not disclosed their exact locations.
It said the closures would include some amines and solvents facilities in the US and Europe; some small-scale downstream polyurethanes plants; small coating reactors; and siloxane and silicon metal plants in Europe, Canada and the US.
“Given the expected gradual and uneven global economic recovery from Covid-19, we announced in July that we are taking necessary actions to continue to optimise our asset footprint, reduce structural costs and enhance the competitiveness of our business over the long-term,” said Dow CEO Jim Fitterling.
Separately, the company has set targets to reduce operating expenses by US$500m by the end of 2020 and has reduced year-on-year capital expenditure to US$1.35bn from US$2bn last year. It has also sold its rail infrastructure assets at six North American sites for US$310m and announced plans to sell some of its marine and terminal operations to Vopak for US$620m by the end of the year.