USPL closes Fla. extrusion operation
BOCA RATON, FLA. - Just more than one month after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp. has closed its Ocala, Fla., extrusion operation.
The Boca Raton-based profile extruder officially closed the doors Aug. 31, according to industry sources. Officials at USPL declined comment.
One source said USPL plans to sell the facility and concentrate operations at its Chicago manufacturing complex. USPL's Ocala operations was 157,000 square feet with 11 extruders, according to its 2002 annual report.
The Ocala site closed briefly last year after an explosion killed one worker and injured another.
At the time of its bankruptcy filing, officials said the company would sell part or all of its assets.
Low-dose bisphenol-A not shown harmful
ARLINGTON, VA. - An industry-funded review of potential health risks from a key ingredient of polycarbonate has found no problems with the chemical at low levels.
The review, from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, concludes there is no consistent evidence that bisphenol-A causes harm at low doses.
Scientists have debated the so-called ``low-dose'' hypothesis since the mid-1990s, when studies began finding that small amounts of BPA, at levels previously considered safe, could cause health problems in lab animals. Other studies have been unable to duplicate that, and a U.S. government review in 2001 was unable to resolve the question.
The Harvard study concludes ``the weight of the evidence for low-dose effects is very weak.''
The work was funded by the American Plastics Council in Arlington. Steve Hentges, executive director of APC's polycarbonate business unit, said APC had no control over the panel's work.
The Harvard panel said it looked at studies published before April 2002. Since then, however, other studies - including work at Case Western Reserve University - have supported the low-dose hypothesis. The Case Western Reserve study was funded by the U.S. government and the American Chemistry Council.
French auto supplier ready to expand
NANTERRE, FRANCE - French auto supplier Faurecia has hit full production at its newest factory in Poland, and is laying out plans for an expansion.
The GorzÃ³w Wielkopolski facility makes instrument and door panels for Volkswagen AG's Golf and will produce an expected 55 million euros ($67 million) in parts this year.
Nanterre-based Faurecia invested 25 million euros ($30.4 million) to build the 140,000-square-foot facility that now employs 377. Next year, the company plans to add 75,000 square feet and increase employment to more than 550.
Faurecia has seven factories in Poland supplying automakers in Eastern Europe. Two of them - at GorzÃ³w Wielkopolski and Legnica - make interior trim parts.
Keltic plans LNG, petrochemical facility
GOLDBORO, NOVA SCOTIA - Thermoplastic resin plants are part of a liquefied natural gas facility proposed for Nova Scotia.
Keltic Petrochemicals Inc. has applied to build an LNG and petrochemical complex in Goldboro. The facility would import LNG and regassify the methane content before transporting it to customers via pipelines. Ethane and propane in the LNG would be converted to ethylene and propylene feedstocks for the plastic resin plants.
Keltic's proposal includes production plants capable of making 440 million pounds per year of polypropylene, 990 million pounds of high density polyethylene, 990 million pounds of low density PE and 770 million pounds of linear LDPE. Subject to federal and provincial environmental approvals, construction could begin in 2005 and be completed in 2007, Keltic said in its application.
The project would provide the first petrochemical and plastics facility for Maritime Canada.
Keltic, established in 2000 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, plans to export the plastic resins.