Dow to Shut Down Plants in U.S. and Europe to Cut Costs

Midland-based Dow Inc. today announced that it plans to shut down manufacturing facilities in the United States and Europe in an effort to improve its cost structure and improve its long-term competitiveness.
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Dow
Dow Inc. announced plans to shut down manufacturing facilities in the United States and Europe. // Photo courtesy of Dow

Midland-based Dow Inc. today announced that it plans to shut down manufacturing facilities in the United States and Europe in an effort to improve its cost structure and improve its long-term competitiveness.

The company’s industrial intermediates and infrastructure division will shut down certain amines and solvents facilities in the U.S. and Europe as well as select small-scale downstream polyurethanes manufacturing facilities.

Dow’s performance materials and coatings organization will close manufacturing assets, primarily small-scale coatings reactors, and also will reduce its upstream asset footprint in Europe, the U.S., and Canada by adjusting the supply of siloxane and silicon metal to balance to regional needs.

“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 optimize our asset footprint, reduce structural costs, and enhance the competitiveness of our business over the long-term,” says Jim Fitterling, chairman and CEO of Dow. “We continue to stay focused on delivering strong cashflow, strengthening our financial profile, and maximizing our operational advantages, and we remain well positioned to capture significant growth as market conditions improve.”

Dow’s goal is to reduce its global workforce costs by approximately 6 percent and to rationalize certain manufacturing assets. These actions are expected to result in total annualized savings of more than $300 million by the end of 2021.

The company says it will record a charge in the third quarter of 2020 for costs associated with the restructuring program activities. In total, these costs are expected to be in the range of $500 million to $600 million and will consist of severance and related benefit costs; costs associated with exit and disposal activities; and asset write-downs and write-offs.

The restructuring program is in addition to the $500 million of operating expense savings Dow will achieve by the end of 2020. The company also says it remains on target to achieve its target of $1.25 billion for capital expenditures in 2020, down from $2 billion in 2019.

Dow also confirmed that today it will close the sale of its rail infrastructure assets at six North American sites to Watco, three months ahead of its initial planned closing, for cash proceeds in excess of $310 million. Earlier this month the company also announced plans to divest certain marine and terminal operations and assets to Vopak Industrial Infrastructure Americas for cash proceeds of $620 million, which is expected to close by year-end.

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