GEISMAR, La. (AP) -- Chemical company BASF SE is cutting production at its complex in southeastern Louisiana, but the move will not cost any employees their jobs, a plant spokesman said Wednesday.
BASF, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, said it would temporarily close 80 plants worldwide due to slumping demand and cut production at 100 more, including its major U.S. facilities in the Ascension Parish town of Geismar and Freeport, Texas.
Geismar general manager Mike Cohen said 800 BASF employees were being told to take their paid vacations before the end of the year and not carry over the time to 2009.
The complex makes a wide variety of chemicals, including some that are used by the auto industry and construction, he said.
"We're pretty diversified at this plant, but most of this had to do with autos and construction, of course," Cohen said.
Since many BASF products are sold overseas, the global economic slowdown also has affected exports, he said.
In addition to BASF employees, contractors at the plant have another 400 workers, Cohen said.
In making the announcement Wednesday, BASF said it had abandoned its goal to match last year's profit.
BASF said the moves would not affect its planned $5 billion acquisition of Switzerland's specialty chemicals company Ciba, which it hopes to complete by the first quarter of 2009.