Asahi Kasei adding compounding in Alabama for rising auto sector

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 20, 2014 9:46 am ET
Updated: May 21, 2014 2:40 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, United States, Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc.

UPDATED: Asahi Kasei Plastics North America plans to build a major compounding plant in Athens, Ala.

The plant will have annual capacity of almost 70 million pounds and will make compounds based on polypropylene, nylon 6/6 and similar materials, primarily for the automotive market. Fowlerville, Mich.-based Asahi Kasei is spending more than $30 million on the new site, which will employ 100 when at full capacity and is expected to open in early 2016.

“This facility will be central to our strategy to increase our presence in the South and provide ongoing support to customers,” Asahi Kasei president John Moyer said in a May 20 news release. “We see Alabama being very central to the strong recovery in the automotive industry and other markets we serve, and are proud that we will be able to be a part of this exciting growth.”

Athens is a city of almost 22,000 located halfway between Birmingham, Ala., and Nashville, Tenn. Athens also is only about 35 miles west of Huntsville, Ala.

In the release, company officials added that the number of vehicles manufactured in North America is increasing in line with a recovery in the U.S, economy, and that further growth is anticipated as the population increases.

“With increasingly stringent environmental regulations and heightening environmental awareness among consumers, demand growth is particularly strong for plastic compounds that replace metal in automotive components to reduce vehicle weight,” officials said.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley added in the release that his state was an ideal choice for the Asahi Kasei plant because of its location in the heart of the growing Southeastern auto industry corridor and because it has “the best-trained workforce in the nation.”

As part of the project, the city of Athens, Limestone County and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community affairs will provide $1.1 million to upgrade rail spur infrastructure at the 51-acre Elm Industrial park, where the Asahi Kasei plant will be located.

Asahi Kasei already operates a compounding plant in Fowlerville, Mich., that has more than 200 million pounds of annual capacity. The firm is a unit of Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei Corp. and ranks as one of North America’s 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers.


Comments

Asahi Kasei adding compounding in Alabama for rising auto sector

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 20, 2014 9:46 am ET
Updated: May 21, 2014 2:40 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Optical disc molder OEM getting into micromolding with acquisition of CDA

August 29, 2014 11:24 am ET

Optical disc replicator and molder Optical Experts Manufacturing Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., has expanded its core business and entered new high...    More

Image

Baxter investing $300 million to expand dialyzers production in Alabama

August 29, 2014 12:53 pm ET

Baxter International, Inc. is expanding its Opelika, Ala. manufacturing location to boost production of dialyzers, a key component of hemodialysis...    More

Image

EPA fines RI polymer company

August 29, 2014 1:20 pm ET

A Rhode Island polymer manufacturer has reached a $60,000 settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating federal clean...    More

Image

Updating a travel icon for the professional millennial

August 29, 2014 11:44 am ET

As part of a drive to expand its customer base to include more millennials, Airstream Inc. turned to the Columbus College of Art & Design's...    More

Image

American Starlinger-Sahm begins work on new US headquarters

August 29, 2014 10:18 am ET

American Starlinger-Sahm Inc., which sells equipment for woven plastic bag production, PET recycling equipment, sheet extrusion and laminating lines a...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events