By: Frank Esposito
November 22, 2013
South Korean materials firm Kopla Co. Ltd. will build a $15 million compounding plant in West Point, Ga., to supply the North American automotive market, including a nearby plant operated by Kia Motors Corp.
The 100,000-square-foot plant will employ 150, making compounds based on a variety of engineering resins, including nylons 6 and 6/6, polycarbonate and ABS. Kopla produces compounds including glass-fiber-reinforced, mineral-filled, impact-modified and flame-retardant grades.
In a Nov. 19 news release, Kopla President and CEO Sangyong Han said West Point “is a perfect location. …We look forward to becoming a part of this thriving industrial community in Georgia.”
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal added in the release that state officials “are proud that Korea's presence in our state continues to grow.”
“Our booming automotive industry and key business resources create a perfect location for Kopla,” he said. “We have no doubt that this state-of-the-art automotive manufacturer will continue to succeed.”
Siheung, South Korea-based Kopla will have free access to the Georgia Quick Start workforce development program. The Columbus Chamber of Commerce will assist Kopla with the hiring process.
Kia’s West Point plant opened in 2009 and has annual production capacity of 360,000 vehicles, including the Sorento CUV and Optima mid-size sedan. Kia claims to have created 14,000 jobs in the area through its plant and related suppliers
In October, auto seat supplier Hyundai Dymos broke ground on a plant that will employ 350 in West Point. The West Point location is the first in the U.S. for Hyundai Dymos, which is based in Seosan, South Korea.