Fibreboard Corp. has chosen Joplin, Mo., for a new vinyl siding plant. The Dallas firm also aggressively is pursuing acquisition opportunities in building materials, although these are not restricted to vinyl products, according to Steve DeMaria, vice president of corporate relations.
Fibreboard will spend $12 million to $15 million on the Joplin facility, which it estimates will boost its siding capacity by about 40 percent within two years after it opens in mid-1997.
The company had not chosen a site when it announced the project in the summer.
Fibreboard's recent emphasis on vinyl building materials vaulted it in Plastics News' ranking to the ninth-largest North American profile extruder, with profile-related sales of $98 million.
DeMaria said there is no hard deadline for it to complete a building materials acquisition.
Joplin offers a productive work force and is a geographic fit with Fibreboard's growing Norandex Distribution Co. unit, said J. Michael Fahey, president of Norandex Vinyl Products Co., Fibreboard's major siding subsidiary.
Joplin is several hundred miles west of Norandex's plant in Claremont, N.C., and will reduce transportation costs to mid-U.S. markets. Norandex Distribution now has 104 locations.
Fibreboard paid about $1 million for a 105,000-square-foot building shell erected by Joplin Business and Development Corp. to attract business, said Rob O'Brian, president of the Joplin Chamber of Commerce. The cost included about 20 acres of land.
Fibreboard has begun doubling the Joplin facility's space, Fahey said in a telephone interview from Norandex Vinyl's head office in Macedonia, Ohio. It chose American Maplan Corp. of Mc-Pherson, Kan., as a major extrusion equipment supplier.
Fahey did not disclose exact capacity or the number of production lines slated for Joplin. Earlier this year Fibreboard officials said Norandex had siding capacity of 186 million square feet at Claremont and it was increasing that by 15 percent with more raw-materials-handling equipment. Fibreboard's Vytec unit has siding capacity of 104 million square feet in London, Ontario, which is expanding to 140 million square feet, and 25 million square feet in Vancouver, British Columbia.
O'Brian said Joplin and Fibreboard officials first met in late June. Availability of a building shell in Joplin helped Fibreboard fast-track the project, he said. Local agencies will contribute about $300,000 to install a railroad spur to Fibreboard's plant and for worker training. He expects the new plant initially to employ about 75, with that figure doubling within 18 months.
Fibreboard on Sept. 3 relocated its head office to Dallas from Walnut Creek, Calif.