Epoch Composite Products Inc. is expanding again in the United States, now eastward to Virginia. The expansion will give Epoch of Lamar, Mo., its third and largest plant.
The composite decking firm announced the move July 30, one day after purchasing a 580,000-square-foot facility in Chilhowie, Va. Officials have a goal of making the facility operational and employing 50 by the third quarter of 2005.
``We've really enjoyed phenomenal growth, driven by consumer demand and acceptance,'' said Tim Whelan, Epoch's executive vice president, in an August 2 telephone interview. ``This purchase is the first step in implementing our East Coast manufacturing and distribution strategy. The Chilhowie facility will supplement our Lamar operations and when the first phase of its expansion is completed in the latter part of 2005, we will have nearly five times our current production capacity.''
Epoch manufactures EverGrain brand decking and other composite products via compression molding, using a blend of wood fiber and polyethylene. It also uses a limited amount of extrusion at the Lamar site, and will add extrusion capacity at the Chilhowie operation. In June, it announced an expansion at Lamar, which means a new 167,000-square-foot building will be added to that location by early 2005.
Whelan said the firm has a variety of different products in its pipeline focused on low-maintenance, polymer-based exterior building products.