It’s official–the Henderson BASF Plant Services is closing effective April 1. BASF is the world’s largest chemical company headquartered in Germany. The Henderson plant was opened seven years ago at the former Cyclonaire location at 1141 Oak Street.
Steve Kliewer, Research Associate at BASF, confirmed that the plant is closing along with five other similar BASF plants across the country in Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. These plants all have conducted the same yellow dent corn research according to Kliewer.
With the closing of the plant comes the loss of six full-time positions, two part-time jobs, and the summer employment for 30-35 high school and college-aged kids. “It’s too bad because these jobs have been good for our community,” said Kliewer. Besides Kliewer, one other full-time employee is local and the rest of the full and part-time employees live in nearby communities.
“It is unfortunate when a business such as BASF closes. All of our businesses are important to the economic development of our community no matter the size because they provide employment and stimulate the economy,” said Kelsey Bergen, Henderson Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.
The reason for the closing was that BASF could not find a partner to merchandise this particular product and its development according to Kliewer. “Their philosophy has always been to partner with other companies, so the board of directors chose to walk away from this one,” said Kliewer.
It’s not known at this time what might happen to the building which is leased from owner Don Baker of York. Most of the building’s contents will be cleaned out in the next month with much of the research equipment being shipped to Ames, Iowa where it will be auctioned off. “We’ve already donated shelving to the Henderson Food Mart and the City of Henderson,” said Kliewer.
“While BASF may not have been a business that the average resident purchased products from directly, this is a good reminder of why it is important to patronize local businesses on a regular basis because we need each business to maintain a strong growing community in the future,” said Bergen.
Written by Shannon Siebert
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