Despite Workforce Reductions, Dow Sees Growth in Silicones

July 25th, 2016 by Editor

As part of its restructuring after the December 2015 mega-merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont, Dow Corning is cutting its workforce by four percent, including a U.S. facility that produces silicone materials for construction.

The company recently announced a series of measures “to achieve synergy capture and accelerate shareholder value creation,” which it projects will result in the reduction of approximately 2,500 positions globally.

Dow will shut down silicones manufacturing facilities in Greensboro, N.C., and Yamakita, Japan, as well as some other administrative, corporate and manufacturing facilities. According to Dow Corning’s website, the Greensboro site is a “key location for the production of silicone materials for the construction industry.”

Company spokesman Jarrod Erpelding told the Triad Business Journal this location employs approximately 130 people, and that Dow will move production from its Greensboro plant to undisclosed locations in North America over the next two years. “Some employees will have an opportunity to work at other Dow or Dow Corning sites while others will be eligible for a severance package and outplacement support,” he said.

DWM reached out to Erpelding to find out whether the company’s involvement in building and construction would be affected in any other way. He says Dow Corning’s silicone expertise “is fully aligned to Dow’s technology portfolio” and the two will work together on “high-growth and attractive end-use applications especially in industries such as building and construction.”

“As we work to integrate our two companies, we will focus on delivering even greater value and a wider breadth of solutions, improved regional and global service, and more innovation,” he says. “… We’re working closely with our customers and distributors to make this integration as seamless as possible.”

Dow Corning currently has a plant in Elizabethtown, Ky., that “manufactures more than 1,000 silicon-based products in the form of sealants and coatings for the construction industry where they help to protect homes and skyscrapers from the damaging effects of weather.” It has maintained a presence in Elizabethtown since 1963.

The merger between Dow and DuPont stipulated that Dow Chemical would become the 100 percent owner of Dow Corning, which had been a 50/50 venture between Dow and Corning. Dow Chemical expects to capture $400 million in cost synergies as a result of the restructuring—an increase from its previously stated $300 million target—and $100 million in growth synergies.

“We are moving quickly and effectively to integrate Dow Corning and deliver the synergies that will drive new levels of value creation for our customers and generate even greater returns for our shareholders,” said Dow CEO Andrew N. Liveris in a statement. “With these difficult but necessary actions, we are bringing together the best of each company’s talent and technology, accelerating Dow’s strategy to go narrower and deeper into attractive, targeted market sectors, and setting the stage for the new Dow.”

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