Explosion closes Nova facility in Texas
PITTSBURGH - No one was injured in a June 11 explosion and fire at a Nova Chemicals Corp. styrene monomer plant in Pasadena, Texas, but damage from the incident could keep the site closed as long as 40 days.
The explosion occurred about 8:15 p.m. during the restart of a furnace unit in the plant's ethylbenzene production area. Ethylbenzene is used to make styrene monomer, which then is used to produce polystyrene resin. Styrene monomer production is in a different section of the plant and was not affected by the blast, Nova officials said in a news release.
The fire was extinguished by 12:30 a.m. June 12.
Nova officials said lost production resulting from the Pasadena shutdown ``can be mitigated through alternative supply agreements and ... is not expected to be material.''
Pittsburgh-based Nova also operates a styrene monomer plant in Sarnia, Ontario. Combining that plant's output with various supply agreements gives Nova access to 1.75 billion pounds of annual styrene monomer output, even with the Pasadena site out of commission, officials said.
Investigation of the accident and a damage assessment are expected to keep the site closed for 30-40 days.
Falcon expanding plant in Tennessee
BROOKINGS, S.D. - Falcon Plastics Inc. is expanding its Lexington, Tenn., custom injection molding plant to keep pace with orders from an existing customer.
The Brookings company plans to add three used injection presses with clamping forces of 500-1,000 tons during the next few months. The plant currently has 17 presses, all Toshibas. The firm also is installing another cooling system, adding auxiliary equipment and boosting floor space by two-thirds with a 20,000-square-foot addition. President Jay Bender said the project will cost more than $1 million.
Falcon's business is growing with an undisclosed industrial equipment company as the client introduces new products, Bender said in a telephone interview.
The firm is reconfiguring the Lexington plant to convert the existing 30,000 square feet into solely manufacturing space. The addition, due to be finished this summer, will be warehouse space.
A road extension will cost $99,000, of which $75,000 will be provided by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Falcon recorded sales of $22 million for the fiscal year ended April 30. It runs 70 injection presses and two blow molding machines at plants in Brookings and Madison, S.D., and Lexington.
Tablewood buys Mexican cup producer
PUEBLA, MEXICO - Tablewood Holding International has acquired container maker Grupo Convermex of Puebla. Terms were not revealed.
Convermex manufactures expanded polystyrene cups for Mexican wholesalers and retailers. It employs more than 1,000, manages 17 distribution centers and operates three plants in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Puebla.
Convermex was attractive in part because it is a leader in the cup sector in Mexico, THI Chief Executive Officer Cipriano Santisteban said in a news release. ``It is also a company that has excellent countrywide distribution and renowned brands.''
Mexico's disposable tableware market has been growing at an annual rate of 9 percent during the past six years, according to the release, thanks to increasing numbers of fast-food chains.
JPMorgan Partners LLC of New York, the controlling shareholders of THI, could not be reached for comment.
Venture projects losses despite cuts
FRASER, MICH. - Venture Holdings LLC has cut 122 jobs and closed a plant in Grand Rapids, Mich., but still may find it harder than first expected to recover enough to leave bankruptcy.
The injection molding automotive supplier entered Chapter 11 reorganization in March, about five months after its German subsidiary entered insolvency.
``Due to volume reductions in customer releases and under plan performance year-to-date, Venture's projections have recently been modified downward,'' the company noted.
Its projections anticipate net losses each month between June and November ranging from $3.7 million in November to more than $13 million in July.