Dow Chemical to cut 2,400 jobs, shutter 20 plants

Dow Chemical has said it planned to cut five per cent of its global workforce, or 2,400 people, and shut 20 plants in an effort to slash costs as the global economy slows.

Dow said it aimed to generate USD 500 million in savings on annual operating costs from the cuts by the end of 2014. The company will also cut capital investment on programs it no longer sees as priorities, for another USD 50 million in savings, it said.

The shuttered facilities will include plants in Tessenderlo, Belgium; Delfzijl, the Netherlands; Ribaforada, Spain; Birch Vale, United Kingdom; Kina Ura, Japan; and in the United States, in Midland, Michigan, and Solon, Ohio.

"The reality is we are operating in a slow-growth environment in the near term," said chief executive Andrew Liveris. "While these actions are difficult, they demonstrate our resolve to tightly manage operations -- particularly in Europe -- and mitigate the impact of current market dynamics."

Liveris said the company will continue funding projects where it can make a strong market stand and grow margins despite the difficult macroeconomic environment, pointing to its Dow AgroSciences and Dow Electronic Materials divisions as well as its Sadara joint venture in Saudi Arabia and investments on the US Gulf of Mexico coast.

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