Dow to close plants, reduce work force

Citing weakness in the European economy, Dow Chemical Co. announced it will close four manufacturing plants and lay off 900 workers in order to save approximately $250 million in annual costs.

Three facilities, located in Poland, Hungary, and Charleston, Ill., make Styrofoam brand insulation products. A Styrofoam plant in The Netherlands will be idled. Dow will also close a facility in Brazil that makes toluene diisocyanate (TDI), a chemical used to make polyurethane.

The Illinois plant has about 30 workers, and its operations will be consolidated with a plant in New Jersey, a Dow spokesperson told Reuters news service.

The Midland, Mich.-based company also said it will consolidate certain other assets in its polyurethanes and epoxy businesses. These actions are expected to take place over the next two years. 

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