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New multi-million franc plant to stay idle

Clariant headquarters in Muttenz: a new plant there will not go into operation swissinfo.ch

A SFr100 million ($55.65 million) new purpose-built plant near Basel for a specialty chemical, due to go into production on Sunday, is not going to start operations. The costly "white elephant" is no longer needed.

This content was published on June 29, 2001 - 13:00

A SFr100 million ($55.65 million) new purpose-built plant near Basel for a specialty chemical, due to go into production on Sunday, is not going to start operations. The costly "white elephant" is no longer needed.

Built in Muttenz by specialty chemicals company Clariant to produce on behalf of Procter and Gamble, the factory leaves the 57 people recruited without a job.

Procter and Gamble is said to have withdrawn from the project to produce raw materials used in the manufacture of detergents in favour of another product.

Clariant has said that it will not suffer any financial fall-out from the pull-out because it has contractual safeguards. A spokeswoman for Procter and Gamble in Geneva said the company had no comment on financial details.

It has added that it will do all it can to keep the number of redundancies to a minimum. A social plan is to be put in place for the workers concerned and other measures include internal transfers, as well as early retirements.

The company said the exact number of redundancies would be known in a month's time.

A spokesman for the Construction and Union expressed optimism that a solution for the Clariant employees could be found because of the current dried-out situation of the labour market.

A Clariant spokesman said he could not estimate any figure on the turnover lost because of the pul-lout. He added that it was not a sum that could have any repercussions on the company's share price.

However, Clariant will have to find a new use for the plant it has built and that, according to the spokesman, could prove "difficult in view of the specific nature of the product for which it was foreseen".

swissinfo with agencies

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