ORRVILLE, OH – BASF Corp. announced plans to close its Orrville, OH, coil-coatings manufacturing facility by late this year in a cost-cutting move. The plant is a part of the former Morton industrial-coatings business that was recently acquired by BASF, and manufactures coil coatings for building components, appliances and automotive parts. The facility currently employs approximately 75 people.

Jim Kendall, vice president of BASF’s Industrial Coatings group, said the move is needed “to enhance our cost competitiveness to secure our business’s long-term viability.” He said the company determined it can supply coil coatings to North American customers with one less manufacturing site. BASF’s Industrial Coatings group also operates production facilities in Batavia, IL; Decatur, AL; Colton, CA; and Chicopee, MA. The group is part of BASF’s Coatings and Colorants Division, headquartered in Southfield, MI.

Separately, BASF Coatings AG and NOF Corp. of Japan announced the launch of a 50/50 joint-venture company that will combine the two companies’ coatings activities in Japan. The venture company, BASF NOF Coatings Co. Ltd., is scheduled to become operational on Oct. 1, and will include automotive OEM and industrial coatings, the companies said. BASF said the business will combine its coatings-system expertise with NOF’s technology and marketing capabilities in Japan, and will supply products to the Japanese auto industry in Japan and at other sites around the world. BASF said the joint venture will make it the first western coatings manufacturer to operate local production facilities in Japan.