It's been a busy two months for Fagerdala World Foams, as the Gustavsberg, Sweden-based firm has resumed construction on a $7.7 million sheet and profile plant in Marysville, Mich., and purchased separate resin-making and foam-molding businesses all in the past 60 days.
The 107,000-square-foot Marysville plant - operated by the Fagerdala-Paclite Inc. unit - is expected to employ 20 and should open by the end of this year. Construction began in 2000 but was halted because of poor economic conditions, John Ballinger, Fagerdala USA vice president and general manager, said May 13 by telephone.
Construction was restarted because Fagerdala is ``seeing more opportunities'' for its materials, Ballinger said. The plant was 25 percent completed when construction was stopped, he added.
The site will extrude polypropylene sheet and beads for packaging and automotive, and will make polyethylene profiles for medical and construction uses. The plant should be at full production by the end of 2004.
In addition to the $4.2 million construction cost, Fagerdala plans to spend $3.5 million on machines and equipment for the new plant.
In separate moves, Fagerdala purchased part of Huntsman LLC's expanded polystyrene business in Peru, Ill., and bought foam molding plants in Illinois and France from Pactuco Inc.
Fagerdala will continue to produce Gecet-brand PS/polyphenylene oxide blends and black-colored EPS in Peru until opening a new 10-employee production plant in the area later this year. Huntsman had been supplying Fagerdala with Gecet and black EPS, but chose to discontinue Gecet earlier this year.
Ballinger said he expects more than half of the site's Gecet output to be sold outside of Fagerdala. He hopes to have that same sales balance with the black EPS.
A portion of the black EPS output will be tied up in Fagerdala's other recent acquisition - foam molding plants in Rantoul, Ill., and Saint-Etienne, France. The Rantoul plant employs 50 and primarily produces bicycle helmets.
``These deals provide us with a little bit of vertical integration,'' Ballinger said.
Fagerdala does not release annual sales figures and did not disclose purchase prices in either the Huntsman or Pactuco transactions. Its other U.S. operation is a 70,000-square-foot foam molding plant in Marine City, Mich., which molds EPS particle foams, Gecet and expanded PP. The Marine City site employs 55.