Views:45 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2019-06-19 Origin:Site
Syngenta AG will lay off 135 full-time employees and another 160 contractors in Houston this year as the company closes its Greens Bayou facility near the Port of Houston, USA.
The manufacturing plant produces chlorothalonil, a pesticide that was recently banned in Europe by a European Union decision in March. The widely used pesticide was found by the European Food Safety Authority to be linked to declining bee populations, have harmful impacts to rivers and waterways, be a high risk to fish and amphibians, and potentially be harmful to human health.
Beginning this week, production will wind down at the facility as the company reduces inventory. Production will cease in early 2020.
In a statement, the company attributed closure of the facility to the decision by the EU and the upgrades necessary at the facility.
"The closure decision is based on significant changes in the business including a decrease in future sales volume due to a March 2019 European Union regulatory decision," Paul Minehart, a Syngenta spokesperson, wrote in a statement. "Costly modernization improvements needed at the Greens Bayou site for continued operation."
A subsidiary of Syngenta, GB Biosciences, in 2004 agreed to a $100 million settlement with the Port of Houston over massive contamination of the port from the operations of the pesticide manufacturing plant, at 2239 Haden.
Syngenta, based in Switzerland, and its legacy companies have owned the Houston facility since the 1990s. Following the closure of the facility, the company will consider disposition options for the site. Syngenta has two other pesticide production facilities in the U.S. that will remain in operation.
All the employees at the facility will be affected. The positions will be eliminated through the remainder of the year, beginning in August. Employees will receive severance and job placement assistance.
"Syngenta is committed to treating its affected employees fairly while ensuring a reliable product supply for its customers," Minehart wrote.