Cascades Inc. plans to establish its first U.S. plastics facility, in Warrenton, Mo., by early September. The Kingsey-Falls, Quebec, firm will invest US$5.5 million in extrusion and thermoforming equipment to produce polystyrene foam trays for the food industry. The plant will be able to generate about C$10 million (US$6.7 million) in annual sales, estimates Mario Plourde, vice president and chief operating officer for Cascades' Specialty Products division.
Plourde said Cascades will rent a 75,000-square-foot building to house the extrusion and thermoforming machinery and auxiliary equipment. Warrenton will specialize in trays for meat packaging.
Cascades has run a PS foam tray plant in Kingsey-Falls since 1972. Plourde said that operation's sales are about three times Warrenton's anticipated revenue. The Missouri operation will be able to respond more quickly to U.S. customers' needs, he said.
Plourde said Warrenton initially will use isopentane as a blowing agent, but eventually it will incorporate carbon dioxide as well in foam production. The Kingsey-Falls plant uses isobutane as a blowing agent.
Cascades has three other plastics operations. It has a small thermoforming plant in Drummondville, Quebec, that makes rigid containers and a small housewares injection molding plant in Cabano, Quebec. It also makes plastic lumber near Drummondville.
Cascades' biggest businesses are paper packaging, fine papers and tissue papers.