FORT ERIE, ONTARIO - A drying unit overheated and exploded Feb. 26 at Peninsula Plastics Ltd.'s plant in Fort Erie, causing a fire and unestimated damages. The custom injection molder employs about 20, according to the ``Canadian Plastics 1995 Directory & Buyers Guide.''
The last worker left the plant about midnight Feb. 26, leaving the dryer on, according to Tom Cartwright, Fort Erie fire chief. Shortly after 6 a.m., Peninsula's Sunday morning work shift found the building full of smoke. When firefighters arrived, they discovered the main fire burned out. Cartwright said it appeared that the drying unit had exploded.
The Buffalo News in Buffalo, N.Y., reported Feb. 27 that the fire caused at least $200,000 damage. But Cartwright said he did not know how much damage either the equipment or the building had sustained.
Peninsula Plastics, in the midst of cleanup, refused to take calls.
Cartwright estimated the plant's size at 10,000-15,000 square feet, and the affected production area at about one-third of that. The building was required to have a sprinkler system, Cartwright said, but it did not.
Risk assessment bill moves ahead
WASHINGTON - Major risk assessment legislation heavily supported by the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. passed the House convincingly Feb. 28, but without an amendment designed to forestall a sure veto by President Clinton.
The bill, HR 1022, seeks to apply stricter cost-benefit and risk assessment standards to federal regulations.
Lewis Freeman Jr., SPI vice president for government affairs, said SPI is ``very pleased'' with the House passage of HR 1022. Senate action is expected before a recess later this month.
Packaging maker's equipment for sale
TORONTO - Corporate Assets Inc. of Toronto will auction assets of a polystyrene packaging and food-service producer based in Puerto Rico.
The local owner wants to sell assets of Ja-Ca-Jo Inc. because he plans to retire, according to Glen Shoniker, vice president of Corporate Assets. Shoniker did not have details of the business's ownership.
Corporate Assets will sell machinery and equipment at Ja-Ca-Jo's plant in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, on April 6. Shoniker said the assets will be available for viewing April 5. Machinery includes two Sterling and Johnson sheet extrusion lines, three Brown thermoforming lines, trim presses, a Polytype America four-color printer, tooling and related equipment.
The firm made food packaging, cups, plates and other products for the local market.
Hilinex Pachaging plans sale of assets
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Tradewest Group Ltd. of Vancouver is liquidating assets of plastic and paper bag producer Hilinex Packaging Inc. of Vancouver.
Tradewest account manager Ken Ardiel said assets for sale include six extruders, blown film lines, bag-making lines, a Sorema recycling system and equipment installed in late 1993 to modernize the plant.
Hilinex was petitioned into bankruptcy Jan. 6, retroactive to Dec. 30, according to Michael Cheevers, account manager for Hilinex's trustee in bankruptcy, Woolrige Mahon Ltd. of Vancouver.
Major creditor Bank of America Canada of Vancouver filed an application that led to the petition for bankruptcy.
Cheevers said sales volumes were not high enough to offset high overhead costs. He identified Leon Farahnik of Los Angeles as a recent owner of Hilinex. Farahnik declined comment.
Hilinex was acquired in 1990 by Rhino-X Industries of Los Angeles, which built a large, high-density polyethylene trash can liner plant in Victoria, Texas, in 1991. Carlisle Plastics Inc. of Boston bought a controlling interest in the Texas plant in 1991.
Australian Pro Plast in receivership
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Australia's third-largest plastic hanger supplier to the retail trade has been placed in receivership with debts of A$4.1 million (US$3.03 million).
The assets of Sydney-based Pro Plast Group Pty. Ltd. will be auctioned off March 30, since the receiver, Max W. Prentice of Sydney accounting firm Prentice Parbery Barilla, could not find a buyer for the firm.
The former managing director, George Dongas, is being sought by federal police for an undisclosed sales tax debt. Officials believe Dongas is in Greece.
Dongas started Pro Plast in 1987; it supplied department store chains and clothing suppliers in Australia and New Zealand. Its problems were compounded last year when it lost contracts to Kmart and Target stores, representing 6 percent of its business.