One of the blow molding plants considered nonessential by Carlisle Plastics Inc. has been purchased by a New England company to do custom molding. Blueberry Plastics Inc., a Portland, Maine, firm formed in April, bought Carlisle's Portland plant, and is making 1-gallon and half-gallon high density polyethylene jugs for water, milk and cider.
Rick McLauglin, vice president of operations for Blue-berry, would not discuss the purchase price, or the volume at the plant.
The purchase occurred shortly before Tyco Inter-national Ltd., an Exeter, N.H., film and pipe maker, reached an agreement to purchase Carlisle. Carlisle spun off its four blow molding operations, with estimated annual sales of about $31 million, before it accepted the Tyco offer.
McLauglin said a midsummer expansion is planned at Blueberry, in which the company will add several new blow molding lines. He said the current workforce of 10 would be increased by 20 percent in the expansion, which will see the manufacturing lines added without addition to the building. The expansion will enable Blueberry to introduce new container varieties, including smaller-sized containers, Mc-Lauglin said.
``We are hopeful that users of bottles in the entire region will take advantage of having a Maine-owed facility right here to meet their needs,'' Mc-Lauglin said.
Earlier this year, two of the other three Carlisle blow molding plants were sold to an upstate New York container maker. Liquitane Inc., a blow molder from Rochester, N.Y., bought the former Carlisle facilities in Batavia N.Y., and in Berwick, Pa.
Carlisle is in the process of negotiating the sale of the fourth blow molding facility, in Jessup, Md., to the A.B. Janin Corp., a mechanical repair company from Perth Amboy, N.J.