Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. has acquired a blending facility in Lowell, Ark., to support wood composite extrusion at its headquarters plant.
The Springdale, Ark.-based decking and railing manufacturer announced the move Sept. 30.
The new site, about five miles from Springdale, will give AERT additional railroad access for shipping finished product and the ability to process additional raw material feedstocks, officials said.
The property was appraised at $1.4 million, with nearly 40,000 square feet among several buildings on 131/2 acres, said Doug Brooks, executive vice president. He would not disclose the total investment, details of site upgrades or production capacity. The company produces its railing and decking products from recycled polyethylene and wood chips.
``We're in the process of converting the site over, but it will probably be several weeks before it's operational,'' he said in an Oct. 4 telephone interview.
Brooks said the facility will employ 20 when it is fully operational within the next six months. The company now has 350 employees.
The addition is part of an ongoing expansion at the publicly traded firm, which earlier this year announced a new extrusion facility at its headquarters location and upgrades to facilities in Springdale and Junction, Texas.
AERT will add four extruders through that project.
``That will be ongoing into the first or second quarter of next year. There's such demand out there for the product. This is part of our growth plan,'' Brooks said.
Since the first of the year, AERT has invested more than $3 million in upgrading and increasing extrusion capacity at Springdale, Chairman Joe Brooks said in a July expansion update.
``Furthermore, the additional production capacity that is under way will increase the overall existing Springdale plant capacity by 40 percent, when complete,'' he said.
Earlier this year, the firm formed a partnership with Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse. In that deal, the Wilkesboro, N.C.-based retailer agreed to dedicate 24 feet of shelf space to AERT's ChoiceDek product in 750 stores. That product is marketed to retail centers by Weyerhaeuser Co., based in Tacoma, Wash.
On Oct. 3, the company announced it had generated $11.4 million in sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30, a quarterly sales record for AERT at a 21 percent increase over the same period in 2001.