Pallet manufacturer Greystone expanding
PRINCETON, IOWA - Injection molder Greystone Plastics Inc. is investing more than $1 million in a new building and equipment as it expands to meet a growing demand for its pallets.
The company, established six years ago at a 6,000-square-foot site in Princeton, has purchased a 50,000-square-foot building in nearby Eldridge, Iowa.
The company also will take delivery in March of a new Milacron press with clamping force of 1,760 tons, adding to its existing fleet of four presses, said JoAnne Hamilton, secretary/ treasurer for family-owned Greystone.
Hamilton said Greystone has grown rapidly during the past three years and now can produce 500,000 polyethylene pallets annually, with Miller Brewing Co. as its core customer.
Greystone also plans to add to its 35-employee base once it moves into the new building this spring. The company posted about $5 million in sales in 2002, she said.
The firm is receiving tax incentives worth more than $400,000 for the move. It is taking over a vacant building at an Eldridge industrial park, and must pour a concrete floor and add other infrastructure before moving, Hamilton said.
BASF decreasing PS output at Ill. plant
JOLIET, ILL. - Deteriorating polystyrene margins have led BASF Corp. to reduce production at its PS plant in Joliet, Ill.
Employment levels in Joliet won't be affected by the move, BASF spokesman David Elliott said in a telephone interview. He declined to provide specific numbers for Joliet, but said the cutback will create a 12 percent drop in the firm's overall North American PS capacity of 1.1 billion pounds.
``The capacity reduction will remain in effect until market conditions justify a restart,'' styrenics group Vice President Jay Kline said in a news release.
The move was effective Feb. 13. Mount Olive, N.J.-based BASF ranks as North America's fourth-largest PS maker, with a market share estimated at 14 percent.
In addition to Joliet, BASF's North American PS works include a solid PS plant in Altamira, Mexico, and an expandable PS plant in South Brunswick, N.J.
Although U.S./Canadian PVC sales were up 7 percent through November 2002 - and in spite of resin price increases averaging 10 cents per pound in 2002 - PS makers' profit margins have been impaired by steep run-ups for PS feedstocks benzene and styrene monomer.
Polyair buying 75% stake in Poly Tech
TORONTO - Polyair Interpack Inc. plans to increase its stake in the market for reflective bubble insulation by acquiring a 75 percent interest in Poly Tech Radiant Inc.
Poly Tech of Quebec City, Quebec, makes specialty reflective insulating products for commercial, industrial and retail building-supply markets in North America and Europe. Polyair did not disclose terms of the deal, which is to close in March.
The agreement will give Toronto-based Polyair entry in the European market, Alan Castle, president of Polyair's sales and marketing group, said in a news release. Poly Tech's sales last year were about US$3.5 million.
GE Plastics closing Dutch ABS facility
BERGEN-OP-ZOOM, NETHERLANDS - Faced with the deteriorating world economic situation, GE Plastics plans to close the remaining operation at its ABS plant in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with a loss of 60 jobs.
GE Plastics Europe, based in Bergen-op-Zoom, will shut down the 154 million-pound-per-year facility in the second quarter, following statutory labor consultations, which have already begun.
Production will shift to two 110 million-pound-per-year ABS units in Europe, in Beauvais, France, and Grangemouth, Scotland.
GE shut down the Dutch site's polymerization plant a year ago, but the plant has continued to compound resin.
``The chemical operation was too expensive to maintain and the business plan is to move away from volume to higher-value-added products. We thought this would be successful, but the economic situation has deteriorated significantly,'' a spokesman said.