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 Materials Suppliers United States
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

Commerce Department agrees to investigate PET dumping complaint

April 1, 2015 1:42 pm ET

UPDATED — A flood of alleged low-priced PET resin imports has led three U.S. PET makers to seek anti-dumping duties.    More

Image

Fire at Texas plant could impact polypropylene market

April 1, 2015 11:21 am ET

UPDATED — No injuries were reported in a March 30 fire at an ExxonMobil Chemical propylene unit in Beaumont, Texas — but the incident...    More

Image

Solegear raising funds as it debuts on TSX Venture stock exchange

April 1, 2015 11:08 am ET

A fledgling bioplastics company has raised capital for growth and obtained a listing on the TSX Venture stock exchange.    More

Image

Lanxess merges PU additives into Rhein Chemie division

April 1, 2015 9:17 am ET

German resin company Lanxess AG has combined the activities of the former Rhein Chemie and its Lanxess functional additives business into a new Rhein ...    More

Image

North American Pipe unit lab to focus on 'modern, innovative' formulations

March 31, 2015 3:25 pm ET

North American Specialty Products LLC — a unit of North American Pipe Corp. — has opened a new material science lab in Leola, Pa.    More

Market Reports

Trends in Resin Distribution

The growth of the North American resin distribution market is undeniable - and industry analysts are confident that growth will continue in 2015 and beyond.

This new report analyzes market trends and provides data on historical sales trends for PE (distribution and resellers), PolyOne Distribution figures, U.S. ethylene expansions based on shale gas and natural gas production by category to 2035.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events