PolyOne Corp. plans to have a new plant up and running in Poland by early 2007.
Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne (Booth S2542) will break ground at a site in Kutno, Poland, by the end of August. Initially, the plant will produce color masterbatches for the packaging industry, according to Dennis Cocco, the firm's vice president of investor relations and communications.
Currently, most of PolyOne's central European customers are supplied from a plant in Gyor, Hungary, that opened in 1998. Increased business from existing European customers that are expanding into central and Eastern Europe prompted the move, PolyOne officials said.
The new plant will employ about 50, Cocco said. Details regarding the project's cost and production equipment were unavailable. Kutno is located about an hour outside of Warsaw and is close to the region's main Berlin-to-Moscow trade route. The new plant will be PolyOne's 15th European site.
A. Schulman Inc. - a PolyOne competitor based in Fairlawn, Ohio - also opened a color concentrates plant near Warsaw in 2005.
PolyOne, which ranks as North America's largest compounder, is working to grow its sales outside of that region. International sales accounted for about 20 percent of the firm's $2.5 billion sales total in 2005.
The project is PolyOne's first new addition since specialty chemicals industry veteran Steve Newlin became the firm's new chairman, president and chief executive officer in February. Financial struggles had led the firm to close more than 20 plants and eliminate more than 1,300 jobs since 2000.
PolyOne appears to be off to a better start in 2006, posting record first-quarter profit of almost $49 million.
First-quarter sales also were up about 10 percent to almost $675 million.