HARJAVALTA/LUDWIGSHAFEN (dpa-AFX) - Jobs at the chemical company BASF in Harjavalta, Finland, are at risk due to a legal impasse. Due to a lack of permits for the plant, the DAX-listed company is considering the indefinite layoff of all employees there, as it announced in Ludwigshafen on Thursday. BASF wants to produce precursors for batteries in Harjavalta, but the approval procedures for commissioning the plant have been dragging on for years.

Most recently, a Finnish court suspended an environmental permit granted at the end of 2023. According to the press release, this will have a further significant impact on operations on site. According to a company spokesperson, test runs at the plant are therefore currently not possible, for example. According to BASF, the further postponement and uncertainty will have long-term financial consequences. The company will therefore have to adapt its operations in Harjavalta and reduce costs, it added.

BASF received initial approval from the authorities in 2020. According to the spokesperson, this and other authorizations have been repeatedly challenged in court over the past three and a half years. So far, BASF has invested a three-digit million amount. Should the company receive final approval for long-term use, further investments would be due.

According to BASF, a high double-digit number of people work at the Harjavalta site. According to the information provided, the decision on the possible exemption would potentially affect all employees there. Negotiations are scheduled to begin on April 15 and last six weeks.

Production in Schwarzheide in Lusatia is not expected to suffer from the problems in Harjavalta. Its supply of primary products for the production of cathode materials is secured by other suppliers./lew/stw/mis