Niche Polymer adding jobs and equipment in W. Va.

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Materials firm Niche Polymer LLC is adding 30 jobs and installing two more twin-screw extrusion lines to increase production for automotive customers.

Officials with Niche — a compounder based in Columbia, Md., with manufacturing operations in Ravenswood, W. Va. — said when the new lines are installed, the firm will have added four new lines in the last two years.

In mid-2015, Niche became a Certified Minority Business Enterprise. That classification allowed the firm to seek out business opportunities for minority-owned businesses in several markets, including automotive and consumer goods.

Niche is part of SirNaik Group, a collection of businesses owned by Indian native Saurabh Naik. Prior to the new hirings, Niche employed around 100 at a 200,000-square-foot site in Ravenswood.

The firm makes color and additive compounds based on a variety of resins, including polypropylene, polycarbonate, nylon and ABS. Niche’s sales are split evenly between proprietary compounds and tolling work.

Other plastic-related businesses in SirNaik Group include Intercontinental Export-Import (IEI) Inc., a recycler/extruder in Columbia; Polymer Alliance Services LLC, a logistics and secondary services firm in Washington, W. Va.; Green Loop Export LLC, an engineering resin scrap firm in Columbia; and recycling firm Green Research Center LLC of Parkersburg, W. Va.