Expatica news

Solvay to axe 250 jobs

30 October 2007

BRUSSELS (AFP) – Belgian chemicals and pharmaceuticals group Solvay said Monday it was cutting 250 jobs in its refrigerant gases business as it struggles to compete with low-cost Asian rivals.

The Brussels-based company said it was considering early retirement schemes and reassignments to minimise the pain of the restructuring, which will affect five sites in Germany, Italy and Spain.

Solvay said it intended to scale down its refrigerant gases activities in the face of fierce Asian competition in order to focus its fluor business on high value-added specialities.

“Large quantities of fluorinated products, in particular for refrigerants in automotive air-conditioning systems, have been flowing out of the Far East onto the global markets,” said Bernd Wilkes, general manager of Solvay’s Fluor business.

“As a consequence, over the last 18 months, we have seen a severe drop in volumes and prices for our refrigerant products, while production costs increased significantly,” he added.

[Copyright AFP 2007]

Subject: Belgian news