Orange cuts 64 workers at PE bag plant
CRITTENDEN, KY. - Orange Plastics stopped producing polyethylene bags at its Crittenden plant Jan. 13 and laid off about 64 workers.
``The decision to shut down manufacturing at the Kentucky facility and continue to operate as a distribution facility has been necessitated by economic conditions facing our industry and the loss of a major account,'' Orange Plastics President Salim Bana said in a news release.
The plant sold bags for grocery and retail applications.
Compton, Calif.-based Orange Plastics acquired the Kentucky business, known as Joseph Edward Co., in 2001 to expand geographically and relieve some pressures of manufacturing in California.
Joseph Edward was founded in Cincinnati in 1994 and relocated to Crittenden in 1997.
Orange leased the 65,000-square-foot facility from the previous owner, said Wade Gutman, executive director of the Grant County Industrial Development Authority in Williamstown, Ky.
Kortec expanding site, adding new HQ
IPSWICH, MASS. - Kortec Inc. is building a new headquarters in Ipswich that will more than triple the size of its current facility and more than double the size of its work force by the end of 2004.
The 110,000-square-foot facility will cost the preform equipment-maker between $12 million and $14 million and will be operational at the end of this year, said John Kermet, vice president of sales and marketing. The new facility will house the company's corporate office, systems engineering, accounting and global systems assemblies, and will triple the number of production systems bays.
Kortec makes turnkey systems for coinjection molded multilayer preforms. Its current headquarters in Beverly, Mass., is about 35,000 square feet and employs about 33, he said. Kortec currently has 12-14 job openings, hopes to increase its staff to 75 by the end of next year, Kermet said.
Despite the stumbling economy, Kermet said Kortec has doubled its sales every year since its inception seven years ago. The company broke ground on the expansion last month. ``There's really no end in sight,'' Kermet said, regarding the company's sales increases. He would not disclose specific figures.
Kermet said the old plant will be leased to another company. The company also operates facilities in Hong Kong, England, Belgium and Mexico.
Cebal investing in Mexico tube facility
NORWALK, CONN. - Cebal Tubes Americas, part of Pechiney SA's packaging division, plans to invest $10 million to build a plant in Mexico to make plastic tubes for the North American cosmetics market.
The subsidiary, which already operates a multilayer laminate tube facility in Toluca, Mexico, has not announced where the new plant will be located, but said it will be in production by the end of the year.
The new plant is part of an initative to focus on three markets: cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and dentifrice and commodities, said Jean-Paul Meausoone, Cebal Tubes Americas vice president and general manager.
The Toluca plant serves Central America but has limited capacity, he said. Cebal Tubes Americas, based in Norwalk, employs 1,700 and reported 2001 sales of $241 million. Pechiney is based in Paris.
* Housewares producer Zag Industries Ltd. plans to buy a portion of Keter Plastics Ltd.'s business, according to a report from Israel, where both firms are headquartered. Rosh Ha'ayin-based Zag agreed to pay 140 million sheckles ($28.9 million) for Keter's do-it-yourself plastics product line based in Karmiel, Israel, according to Globes, the online version of a daily business newspaper in Israel. The deal might require approval of Israel's Antitrust Authority, Globes said. ... Several state agencies are objecting to proposals designed to change the California Plumbing Code to permit broad use of cross-linked polyethylene pipe. It's the latest chapter in the battle between Glen Ellyn, Ill.-based Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association and six California agencies. ... The American Plastics Council is praising New York's decision to resume its plastics recycling program, after the city canceled the program in July in a cost-cutting move. New York officials announced Jan. 13 that they plan to restart plastics recycling in July. APC is based in Arlington, Va.