Republic to open thermoforming plant
McQUEENEY, TEXAS - Republic Plastics Ltd. plans to open a disposable tableware plant in East Knoxville, Tenn., according to local news reports.
The thermoforming facility will employ 80 and represent an initial investment of $4 million, according to a report in the Knoxville News Sentinel. The operation is to open in May.
Republic, based in McQueeney, was founded by Chairman Gino Inman and President Bill McMeans in 1997. The Texas plant employs 60.
Republic bought a 160,000-square-foot warehouse and is converting it to a production operation for plastic plates, bowls, lunch trays and similar goods sold by mass merchandisers.
Imperial PlasTech exiting pipe in U.S.
TORONTO - Imperial PlasTech Inc. will stop producing pipe and conduit in Atlanta and convert the operation to make plastic/wood composites.
The Toronto firm said April 7 that its U.S. pipe and conduit business, Ameriplast Inc., lost US$2.7 million for the year ended Nov. 30 on sales of US$6.4 million. The losses and continued weakness in telecommunications and cable television led Imperial to exit pipe and conduit production in the United States.
Imperial bought the Atlanta operation, formerly Americon Inc., in 1991. For fiscal 2001 the business lost US$200,000 on sales of US$9.2 million.
Imperial will continue pipe and conduit production at plants in Peterborough, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta. It debuted its Timberplus wood composite products last year and reports strong demand for them.
Kaneka shuts PVC plant, sells assets
NEW YORK - Kaneka America Corp. has closed its PVC resin plant in Delaware City, Del., and is selling off the site's equipment and machinery.
``The plant wasn't showing the profit we had expected, and we didn't expect it to be showing a higher profit in the future,'' Kaneka spokesman Yasushi Kawasumi said of the 93-employee plant, which had an annual capacity of 110 million pounds.
Most of the site's output was sold into the flooring and coatings markets. The plant's last day of operation was March 23.
Kaneka America, based in New York, is the North American unit of Tokyo-based Kaneka Corp., a $2 billion-a-year conglomerate and maker of plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other products. The firm's North American products include ABS resin, synthetic fibers and pharmaceutical intermediates.
Valeo planning plant in Poland by 2004
PARIS - France's Valeo SA will begin molding lighting components in Chrzanow, Poland, as part of its multimillion-dollar expansion into Eastern Europe.
The lighting plant, set to open by late 2004, will employ as many as 600, producing systems for an unspecified ``high-volume contract'' that the Paris-based automotive supplier secured last year, Chairman Thierry Morin announced March 26.
``This new plant not only brings the total investment in this country to an excess of 100 million euros (US$106.8 million) within the last three years, but clearly demonstrates our continued commitment to Eastern Europe,'' he said in a news release.
The facility also is part of the industry's continued expansion into the region, which offers a lower-cost work force than its Western Europe neighbors. Volkswagen AG, General Motors Corp., Fiat Auto SpA and South Korea's Daewoo Corp. all have assembly plants in Poland, with other automakers operating throughout one-time Soviet Bloc countries.
Valeo has two other new plants in Poland, a wiper systems operation in Skawina and a starter and alternator facility in Czechowicz Dziedzice.
Fire claims 7th victim, ruled accident
CORBIN, KY. - Another employee injured in an explosion and fire Feb. 20 at CTA Acoustics Inc. has died, bringing the total number of fatalities from the incident to seven.
Clarence Davis died April 11, Chief Executive Officer James Pike announced. No other employees hurt in the blast at CTA's Corbin plant remain in critical condition.
Investigators ruled the fire an accident. Something sparked the explosion near a furnace used to combine glass fiber and other raw materials, they said. CTA is a supplier of acoustic insulation for the auto industry. The company has been working to rebuild its operations since the explosion.
Late last month the firm selected a 47-acre parcel in Corbin as its future manufacturing site, with plans to occupy three new buildings by the end of this year. The company now is operating out of undamaged portions of its original building in the city, along with leased space nearby.