Canadian and U.S. interests are meeting in Nebraska after buying the assets of a composite products maker from the land down under.
Crossroads Building Products Inc. will begin extruding and injection molding in Fairbury, Neb., by the fourth quarter after investing $3 million in the project.
The firm will make panels from a blend of high density polyethylene and limestone, a proprietary formulation from ReBase Products Inc. of Barrie, Ontario. Plastics industry veterans Wayne Whiteside and D. Mark Meade are the majority shareholders who bought Unimould Pty. Ltd., which started three years ago in Melbourne, Australia.
``[Unimould] developed strong markets in marine, signage and other areas,'' said Meade, chairman of Crossroads and chief executive officer of ReBase. Meade holds the patent on the resin formulation.
Crossroads purchased the 20,000-square-foot site in Fairbury and will equip it with four extrusion lines and two 300-ton injection molding machines. The operation will begin with 27 employees. The firm also will fabricate for Kroy Building Products Inc., an extruder of fence, deck and railing profiles in York, Neb.
Crossroads will market its products in Canada and Australia under the Unimould name, Meade said.
At first the company will make sheeting, panels and board, and will extrude products for deck substructures.
``We will entertain making pallets at some future date,'' Meade said in a July 30 telephone interview. ``Production will begin as early as October for dimensional lumber and the [production of] panels should begin by early December.''
The state of Nebraska awarded nearly $430,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding. The city of Fairbury will loan the firm $25,600 for new equipment, officials said.
The company said its products cost about the same as green treated hardwood products and can be manufactured in any color, shape or size.
The firm touts its products as water, mold and insect-resistant and 30 percent stronger than wood.