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Orion Engineered Carbons seeks to close carbon black plant in France

ABR Staff Writer Published 03 June 2016

Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. announced that the management of its company in France, Orion Engineered Carbons SAS, has begun consultations with the Works Council at its Ambѐs, France facility in order to implement a restructuring and down staffing with a potential cessation of production at the site by the end of 2016.

Jack Clem, Orion's group CEO, said that in order for the group 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 and those capable of producing technically special and unique grades that can compete in today's challenging environment.

Orion's group CEO Jack Clem said: "Orion remains committed to maintaining its position as the leading producer of specialty carbon blacks and a major supplier of carbon blacks to the global rubber industry.

"The consolidation of the Orion group's manufacturing operations in Europe would be another step in improving our sustainability to better serve our existing markets particularly those requiring more specialized products to meet their end customers' demands."

The French Orion plant employs approximately 40 people.

Clem continued: "We regret the impact this restructuring may have on our employees and their families.

"The men and women who work in our Amb?s carbon black operation have always worked diligently to support the company."

Clem said the local management will work with the employee representatives to assist employees directly impacted by a potential closure with a comprehensive social plan.

According to Clem, in the event manufacturing is stopped the plant would be deactivated simultaneously with the depletion of the existing stocks, thus fulfilling ongoing existing customer commitments until depletion.

Amb?s is a commune located in the Aquitaine region in the south-west of France, 20 km from Bordeaux and 480 km from Paris.

The facility in Amb?s was founded by the American Philips Petroleum Company and Continental Carbon Company in 1959 and began operations in 1960 as Cofrablack. It was purchased by Degussa, the predecessor to Orion Engineered Carbons, in 1986.

Source: Company Press Release