CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Bayer MaterialScience will moves its technical center from South Charleston to Pittsburgh, the company announced Thursday.
The move, which was announced in a prepared statement from the company, will take between 12 and 18 months and affect 30 employees.
The technical center, which supports the company's polyether and flexible foam businesses, is now located in the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston. The company plans to consolidate the work done at the technical center with existing research and development facilities on the Pittsburgh campus, according to the statement.
Not all of the 30 employees will be laid off, said Bryan Iames, head of external communications for Bayer. He expects that several of the employees will move to Pittsburgh.
Bayer's statement read in part, "The technical center supports the manufacturing effort through process development and customers through process and applications development. Bayer's polyurethanes business produces raw materials for polyurethane foam used in the construction, automotive, appliance, furniture and other industries.
The company's statement also said, "The move will not affect the company's ongoing efforts to attract an ethane cracker to its sites in West Virginia."
Bayer's decision to move came on the heels of an announcement from Shell that it will build a $2 billion cracker plant near Monaca, Pa. and not in West Virginia.
Iames said the latest news about the cracker plan had no bearing on Bayer's decision to move to Pittsburgh, which is about 30 miles from Monaca.
"In fact, we continue to market our property in New Martinsville and Institute in hopes to attract an ethane cracker to West Virginia," Iames said in an email.
South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said he's disappointed that 30 high-paying jobs will be leaving South Charleston. He said an official from Bayer called him to say that the company loved being in South Charleston and at the tech park.
"This is just a financial decision made by their company," Mullens said. "It's disappointing, but at the same time, we understand and let's move forward."
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.