Mega Bloks realigns, focuses on China
MONTREAL - Toy producer Mega Bloks Inc. is moving most of the rest of its arts and crafts manufacturing to China.
The Montreal firm said the move is part of a realignment of its construction blocks and recently acquired Rose Art crafts businesses. Effective immediately, the company will begin relocating production to Rose Art's Shenzhen, China, plant as well as to Mega Blok's network of Chinese suppliers. China already accounted for about half of Rose Art's production when Mega Bloks bought the firm last year.
Mega Bloks said it will cut back manufacturing and distribution at Rose Art operations in Woodridge, N.J.; Eugene, Ore.; and Lafayette, Ind., leading to a total loss of 350 jobs. Canadian distribution will be consolidated in Mega Bloks' Montreal plant, leading to the loss of 35 jobs in the Lachine, Quebec, distribution center.
North American distribution of all products made in China will be consolidated in Tacoma, Wash.
Mega Bloks said the realignment should save it C$7 million (US$6.1 million) to C$10 million (US$8.7 million) per year.
AEP Industries increases U.S. capacity
South Hackensack, N.J. - Film extruder AEP Industries Inc. of South Hackensack will add capacity at five U.S. facilities in 2006.
The company will install five new custom lines in total: two in Chino, Calif.; two in Waxahachie, Texas; and one in Mountaintop, Pa. The firm also will install a new cast stretch film line in its site in Matthews, N.C.
The firm plans to add physical plant space in Mountaintop in 2007 to accommodate four new co-extrusion lines, spokeswoman Zuni Sosa wrote in a March 16 e-mail.
The expansions will get AEP into new product categories, Sosa said, including an expansion at a newly acquired site in Bowling Green, Ky., that will mean growth into print, laminate and bag pouch markets.
In separate news for AEP, the company announced March 7 its divestiture of Belgian subsidiary AEP Belgium SA to a European investor. That unit, which AEP owned for 12 years, was focused on specialty films for markets including food packaging.
The move is in line with the company's intention to focus on its core business in North America, officials said.
Metabolix, ADM to build plant in Iowa
Decatur, Ill. - The bioresin-making partnership between Metabolix Inc. and agricultural firm Archer Daniels Midland Co. will build its plant in Clinton, Iowa, officials said March 14.
The companies had announced in February their plan to build the plant but waited to disclose its location.
Cambridge, Mass.-based Metabolix and Decatur-based ADM tout their natural plastic - polyhydroxyalkanoate - as the first commercially viable, 100 percent organic plastic. The plant will have a capacity of 100 million pounds annually and should be operational by the middle of 2008, officials said.
Neither ADM nor Clinton economic development officials would disclose the plant's size or the number it might employ. The plant will be built adjacent to ADM's wet corn mill in Clinton.
Teijin expanding PC capacity in China
DONGGUAN, CHINA - Teijin Ltd. will double annual capacity at its polycarbonate plant in China to 220 million pounds by midyear.
Teijin said the Zhejiang plant is China's first PC polymerization plant and is being expanded to meet estimated 10 percent annual growth in the country's market for PC.
Tokyo-based Teijin's project joins a host of Asian PC expansions. Bayer AG plans to open a PC plant near Shanghai in the third quarter, and the LG Dow Polycarbonate Ltd. joint venture in Seoul, South Korea, recently expanded capacity in Yeosu, South Korea. As well, GE Plastics this year plans to expand a Nansha, China, facility that compounds, but does not polymerize, PC and other resins.
The Zhejiang plant will have about one-third of Teijin's global capacity, Alfred Chow, a sales supervisor with Teijin Kasei (HK) Ltd.'s Hong Kong office, said at the Dongguan International Exhibition on Rubber and Plastics, held March 8-11 in Dongguan.
``The consumption growth rate in China is the highest in the world, about 10 percent [annually],'' he said, with demand rising in automotive, electronics and adapter housing markets.
Teijin also has PC production in Japan and Singapore.