HOUSTON - Poly-Line LLC, a 6-month-old distributor of commodity thermoplastic resins, is expanding with a new facility in Houston. The company was launched in April to provide polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene resins to international markets, and now is expanding its domestic operations, President John Keating said in an interview at his office Sept. 24.
Poly-Line was formed as a sister company to In-Line Plastics Inc., a Houston company that reports annual sales of nearly $5 million.
Keating started In-Line three years ago to produce geomembranes and industrial containment systems from high density and low density PE sheet.
Keating was joined by Scott DeCrosta, general manager for Poly-Line, in June, and they have developed a broad plan for expansion and growth for their company. Poly-Line reported sales of $8 million in its first six months of business, Keating said.
While the company started business as an international distributor, moving commodity thermoplastics to South America and the Far East, Keating and DeCrosta now have an eye on domestic markets.
The facility expansion includes a 50,000-square-foot building now under construction in Houston. That building will house a packaging line for thermoplastics, and will be served by a railroad line for bulk deliveries, Keating said.
``We will have a break-and-ship line, transfer equipment, silos, and all the rest,'' he said.
That plant will be the company's focal point for national distribution of commodity resins sold through representatives now in Cleveland, western New York state and Houston, he said. DeCrosta added that the company intends to add representatives in Atlanta and Chicago in the coming months.
With the facility, the firm also will be able to pack and ship specific, small quantities of resins to its international customers.
Poly-Line is distributing prime, near-prime, off-grade and wide-spec commodity resins, Keating said.
Besides building its customer base through its new facility, Keating and DeCrosta are working to diversify its supplier base.
``We are trying to build a portfolio of products that would play to every one of our suppliers' strengths.
``More and more, resin producers are turning to distributors to serve portions of the market that they are not tracking, and we are filling that need,'' Keating said.
Keating said he feels he and DeCrosta have advantages in the business from their background and from their location in Houston.
Both Keating and DeCrosta have sales and product management experience with Chevron Chemicals' PE business. Keating formerly was product manager for linear LDPE; DeCrosta was product manager for HDPE.
Keating added that resin compounding could be an option for the company in three to five years.
``We are knowledgeable about the technical side of this business, and we have technical people in place.
``We may grow, and we may need more technical people in the future, but we want to be able to do that as we build a captive customer base and move into the business,'' Keating said.