TriQuest-Puget Plastics LLC will halt production in Vancouver, Wash., in mid-April and try to liquidate its assets by June.
``We are closing up shop,'' Ted Duggan, chief executive officer, said by telephone. ``I am confident we can support customers through this transition.''
The decision marks another contraction of the area's plastics processing capacity. Several other molders in Washington, Oregon and nearby states and provinces have closed or consolidated in the wake of economic reversals over several years. The initial setback involved Hewlett-Packard Co.'s relocation of plastics work to Guadalajara, Mexico, and then Singapore.
Alaska-based firms Sealaska Corp. of Juneau and Arctic Slope Regional Corp. of Barrow formed the limited liability company in October 2000 from existing operations in Vancouver and Tualatin, Ore.
Initially, TriQuest-Puget employed 265. Now, after several downsizings, the venture will lay off 157, disperse existing work to other molders and vacate a 104,000-square-foot facility.
Although an equipment dealer purchased six presses recently, TriQuest-Puget needs to find buyers for its 31 remaining presses, which have clamping forces of 28-950 tons.
Duggan said TriQuest-Puget had 2001 sales of more than $20 million, mostly from injection molding with some from tooling work.
On Feb. 19, TriQuest-Puget gave a 60-day notice of the closure to local officials as required under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
``The closure is in response to ongoing consolidation of the industry and movement of the business to Mexico [and] Asia and out of the Pacific Northwest region,'' TriQuest-Puget said in a statement. ``The management team is working with customers to transfer business to appropriate suppliers to minimize the impact.''
Sealaska subsidiary TriQuest Precision Plastics remains in business, with Mexican operations in Zapopan near Guadalajara and the Apodaca district near Monterrey. Sealaska acquired 90 percent of TriQuest in December 1997 and, in January, sold a minority of the Zapopan operation to Nypro Inc. of Clinton, Mass.
Arctic Slope subsidiary Puget Plastics Corp. continues with operations in Long Beach, Miss., and Guadalajara. Arctic Slope acquired Puget in early 1995.