NEW YORK — As part of the ongoing restructuring of its global nylon business, DuPont said Thursday it has entered into a joint venture with Rhone Poulenc, Courbevoie, France, to produce adipic acid, a key ingredient in the production of DuPont’s nylon.
With the joint venture, DuPont said, it will close its Teesside, England, adipic acid plant. That, along with the continued reengineering of all facets of its nylon business, will result in the loss of about 1,200 jobs, primarily in the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands.
DuPont said those job losses are part of a planned global nylon work force cutback of 2,800 announced last September. Currently, DuPont’s nylon operations employ 19,000 worldwide, including 5,000 in Europe.
Under the terms of the venture, DuPont and Rhone Poulenc will form a 50-50 partnership to expand an existing Rhone Poulenc plant at Chalampe, France. In addition to using the plant’s output for their own fiber requirements, both firms will continue to independently market and sell adipic acid to their own customers.
The expansion is slated for completion in early 1997, DuPont said, and at about that time the Teesside plant will be closed.
Spokesmen for Rhone Poulenc and DuPont would not disclose the current or future capacity of the plants involved. DuPont said nylon salt and polymer plants at Wilton, U.K., and Rozenberg, the Netherlands, are unaffected by the move.