Phillips plans to add HDPE capacity
BARTLESVILLE, OKLA. — Phillips Petroleum Co. is reviewing plans to add 600 million pounds of high density polyethylene to its Pasadena, Texas, plant by 2002.
HDPE General Manager Tim Taylor said the project is in the planning stages, adding that a project of that size would require a new reactor and extruder at the 2 billion-pound-per-year plant.
Taylor also said Phillips officials believe the down cycle currently affecting commodity-plastics prices will have ended by 2002. The Bartlesville-based company already has confirmed plans to add 200 million pounds of annual HDPE capacity through debottlenecking next year.
Two HDPE/linear low density PE additions already are planned in the North American market by the end of the year. Exxon Corp. of Houston started up a new 550 million-pound-per-year line in Mont Belvieu, Texas, last week, while Westlake Polymers of Houston will open a 500 pound HDPE/LLDPE line by year's end. Fina Oil and Chemical Co. of Dallas also will add 400 million pounds of HDPE in La Porte, Texas, later this year.
Phillips, North America's third-largest HDPE maker, has seen good growth in markets for pipe, sheet and recreational products this year, according to Taylor.
Through August, North American HDPE sales and captive use were up 4.7 percent, while production had climbed 4.8 percent, according to the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., based in Washington.
K'98 attendance up slightly from '95
DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Attendance at K'98 was up about 1 percent from the last show in 1995, according to organizer Messe Dusseldorf GmbH.
A total of 265,000 visitors from 103 countries attended the Oct. 22-29 show. Some 52 percent were from Germany. Attendance from Asia was down — that region accounted for 18 percent of the total in 1995, but only 11 percent this year. Seven percent of all foreign visitors came from the United States.
Total attendance in 1995 was 262,000.
Husky sets price for common stock
BOLTON, ONTARIO — Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. of Bolton has priced its initial public offering of 14 million shares of common stock at US$6.81 per share (C$10.50).
If the underwriter exercises a 1.4 million-share overallotment, net proceeds of the IPO will be US$98.6 million after expenses.
Husky, a supplier of injection molding machines, tooling, hot-runners and robotics, will use the proceeds to expand manufacturing and sales and service, and to reduce bank debt.
PEC plant closing will leave 66 jobless
LINCOLNSHIRE, ILL. — Plastic Engineered Components Inc. will close its Mount Horeb, Wis., plant Dec. 29.
The injection molder will shift work to its plants in Poplar Bluff, Mo.; McAllen and El Paso, Texas; Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Los Angeles. PEC is following its larger customers South.
``We're trying to consolidate and make the company stronger,'' Eric Lorenz, PEC chief financial officer, said in a telephone interview. ``We want to fully utilize our existing plants.''
The 50,000-square-foot leased plant runs 20 presses and serves markets such as automotive, plumbing and appliances. The shutdown will leave 66 employees without jobs.
PEC, based in Lincolnshire, reported injection molding sales of $89.1 million for the year ended June 30, placing it at No. 58 in Plastics News' ranking of North American injection molders.
Viking's new plant to open in spring
JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Growth is leading to expansion for Jamestown-based Viking Polymer.
The 4-year-old company, which extrudes rigid vinyl pipe for outdoor use and makes specialty compounds for consumer products, has grown too large for its leased, 17,000-square-foot plant, said Viking President John Ammondson.
The new 40,000-square-foot plant in Jamestown, to be completed in the spring at a cost of $2.25 million, will house six extrusion lines, including the five lines operating at the existing plant.
Viking now has 16 employees. Ammondson said he plans to hire as many as five more employees during the next year.
Viking's new site also will be graded in anticipation of an addition to be built ``about three to four years down the road,'' Ammondson said.