SOUTHFIELD, MI - BASF announced plans to phase out coatings production at the company's Batavia, IL, site and transfer production to facilities in Belvidere, NJ; Decatur, AL; and Morganton, NC, by the end of this year.

The closing of the Batavia production site will result in the elimination of approximately 80 employment positions. Following decommissioning of the facility, the property will be put up for sale. The actions are part of a program to streamline industrial-coatings manufacturing operations, the company said.

Tom Hoenle, director of BASF's Industrial Coatings business, said the moves "will further improve productivity and reduce the complexity of our manufacturing operations."

Hoenle said the shift in production is needed to allow BASF to remain competitive in the coil-coatings and industrial-coatings markets.