Dura Plastic Products Inc. of Beaumont, Calif., plans to extend a new rail spur onto its property next year.
``The primary goal is to bring in material,'' Vice President Kevin Rost said in a telephone interview. ``We would like to send our finished goods out via the rail spur'' as well.
Rost projected at least $50,000 in annual savings on freight costs. Now, PolyOne Corp. of Cleveland supplies Dura through a Long Beach, Calif., terminal. About two to three truckloads can fit into a rail car. Dura will install about 225 feet of track to extend a nearly completed, 5,000-foot siding off Union Pacific Railroad's main line. The addition will bring the spur to Dura's resin silos.
The project involves two spurs. Other businesses will get a centralized team track to transfer shipments, and Dura has use of the second track.
Funding included $1.2 million from the Commerce Department and $800,000 from the Beaumont Redevelopment Agency, according to Dave Dillon, Beaumont economic development director.
The rail project started in 1995 as local officials looked for ways to retain Dura's operations.
``Dura was wooed by several states,'' Dillon said.
The firm injection molds plastic pipe fittings, mainly of PVC and mainly for irrigation, pools and plumbing. The largest fitting has a 12-inch diameter. Dura is exploring the use of chlorinated PVC in a product-line expansion for hot-water fittings.
In Beaumont, Dura employs more than 300 and operates presses with clamping forces of 125-1,500 tons. It ships about 20 percent of its output to 40 countries through foreign distributors and sends the other 80 percent through in-house domestic channels. Dura operates seven distribution centers, including one in Puerto Rico.
Rost said Dura is maintaining volumes despite the economy.
``We are on the same pace as last year, and last year was a record year,'' he said.
Dura is owned by Rost and his brother Hardy, who serves as president. Their father, Willi Rost, started the business in 1962 and retired in 1991. The privately held firm does not disclose sales data.