Noveon Inc. has bought a vacant plant in Peachtree City, Ga., and will begin producing chlorinated PVC and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) there early next year.
No purchase price was disclosed in the deal, in which Brecksville, Ohio-based Noveon bought the 45,000-square-foot plant from Equistar Chemicals of Houston. Equistar, a PE and polypropylene maker, closed the site in 2001, shortly after acquiring it from specialty resins maker AT Plastics Inc. of Brampton, Ontario.
AT Plastics had used the plant to make PEX compounds for the wire and cable market. Noveon had purchased PEX technology for piping from AT around that same time.
Noveon spokeswoman Judy Makowski said the purchase was made to meet demand for Noveon's CPVC and PEX for plumbing, fire sprinklers and industrial piping. The 22-acre site also has a geographic advantage, Makowski said, since it is close to several large Noveon customers, including Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co. Previously, Noveon had served its Southeast customers from a plant in Louisville, Ky.
Makowski declined to say how many jobs will be created by the new operation, which will consist of a single CPVC production line and several for PEX. PVC will be brought in from Noveon's Louisville location to be compounded into CPVC.
Noveon is a unit of Lubrizol Corp., a specialty chemicals maker based in Wickliffe, Ohio. Lubrizol purchased Noveon for $1.8 billion in 2004. Lubrizol's specialty chemicals unit, including Noveon, posted sales of $893 million in the first half of 2005.
In 2003 - its last year as an independent company - Noveon had sales of $1.1 billion, with about 40 percent of that amount coming from plastics-related businesses. In addition to CPVC and PEX, Noveon is a major supplier of thermoplastic polyurethane. The firm employs 3,200 worldwide and recently opened a TPU plant in Shanghai, China.
Lubrizol is looking for buyers for Noveon's food ingredients and industrial specialties businesses, as well as its existing foam control business. None of the operations for sale - which have annual sales of about $500 million - are involved in plastics.