Orafol Klebetechnik GmbH, a large European maker of self-adhesive PVC films, plans to open its first U.S. headquarters and manufacturing site in Georgia by mid-2006.
The German company has selected a site in Bryan County near Pembroke, Ga., as its first U.S. production location, said Phil Jones, county administrator.
Orafol, based in Oranienburg, Germany, will use the 200,000-square-foot site as a base for expansion in North and South America for its specialty PVC films, company officials said in a news release. The site will be operated under the name Orafol USA Inc. Film from the facility also will be sent to Australia and other markets.
The company initially will spend $37 million on building and equipment and plans to invest $8 million in a second expansion to be completed by 2008, Jones said in a Dec. 30 telephone interview. About 60 employees will be hired initially, with another 40 people expected by 2008, he added.
The family-owned company makes film for adhesive tapes, graphic products and reflective applications. Those products include reflective and back-lit signage, outdoor advertising and promotional displays for vehicles, said Tim Evans, director of business recruitment and retention with the Atlanta-based Georgia Department of Economic Development.
``The company has been growing its U.S. sales and exporting quite a bit to America,'' said Evans, who leads a team working with Orafol. ``They've been looking at the North American market for production for quite some time.''
The Bryan County site vied with locations in four other states and more than 30 sites, Evans said. The county worked with Orafol officials for about eight months, Jones added. Access to major highways and ports near Savannah helped lure the company to Georgia, Jones said. The state also offered an on-site job-training package, Evans said.
The German firm has been globally focused, with close to 70 percent of its products exported. Orafol recorded sales of $190 million in 2003, according to the release. Orafol officials in Germany were on holiday and unavailable for comment before deadline.
The company works with distributor Oracal USA Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., to sell its products to the Americas. Oracal, considered a sales arm of Orafol, opened in 1996.
Several other film companies have large sites in Georgia. AEP Industries Inc. operates a PVC film operation in Griffin, Ga., while companies such as ExxonMobil Chemical Co., SKC America Inc. and Printpack Inc. make differing types of film in the state, Evans said.
The move by Orafol represents the first major industrial expansion in 20 years in Bryan County, a rural area known for military installations, Evans said. Orafol will break ground in the first quarter of 2005.
``They're looking at expansion possibilities already,'' Evans said. ``They're considering future growth even as they start initial production.''