Firestone Building Products Co. will meet continuing demand by increasing production of thermoplastic olefin roofing membrane at its Wellford, S.C., facility with the addition of a third TPO line.
The project nearly will double the company's TPO roofing membrane capacity, according to the Indianapolis-based division of BFS Diversified Products LLC. The expansion will be ready for production in the second quarter of 2006, said Bob Delaney, Firestone vice president of sales and marketing.
The company did not disclose the cost of the addition.
Firestone continues to experience significant growth in TPO and ethylene propylene diene monomer roofing product sales, matching industry trends, Delaney said. TPO roofing has captured market share because of its energy efficiency.
``TPO has become one of the most popular new commercial roofing options, particularly in the western and southern U.S., where energy efficiency remains a critical issue,'' said Wayne Hunter, Firestone vice president of operations. ``Adding a new TPO line allows us to meet the growing demand for environmentally responsible roofing systems while positioning us for future growth.''
The 140,000-square-foot Wellford plant produces Firestone UltraPly-brand TPO roofing membranes and accessories. The expansion marks Firestone's second investment in the facility. In 2003, it added about 60,000 square feet.
Firestone has continued to build up its in-house TPO capacity since acquiring the Wellford site and two TPO lines from Serrot International Inc. in 2002.
Firestone also announced in October it plans to build a second TPO roofing plant to serve growing commercial demand. The firm is continuing to evaluate options for the second facility, Delaney said.
In conjunction with the expansion of its TPO membrane production, Firestone said last year it would phase out PVC roofing. The company will ship its last order of PVC materials June 30, Delaney said.
No new hires are anticipated for the new line in Wellford. That plant employs about 80, he said.
The firm operates 13 North American manufacturing facilities: the Wellford site, two EPDM factories, two asphalt-based locations and eight insulation production sites.