Utility enclosure molder PenCell Plastics is relocating to North Carolina where it can expand more economically than in its current New Egypt, N.J., location.
The firm bought a 170,000-square-foot building in Rocky Mount and will transfer its operations there over the next 12-18 months after renovating the facility. The plant is on a 21-acre site that will allow PenCell to expand when growth warrants.
President and owner Bob Schlegel said New Jersey's tax regimen has been onerous and the main reason why his company is moving. The Rocky Mount area also offers a better environment for employees, he added in a telephone interview.
``This will give our company a chance to grow and lower our cost structures, compared to the Northeast,'' Schlegel noted in a news release. The New Egypt plant, at 120,000 square feet, has become too small for PenCell.
Schlegel said PenCell runs 10 structural foam molding presses, half of them high-pressure and the rest low-pressure models, and includes several new Nissei presses. It also operates a Ferry rotational molding machine, polymer concrete equipment, metal fabricating machinery and mold-building equipment.
PenCell makes a range of enclosures for telephone, electric and cable utilities and for water transmission. It makes above-ground and underground products, the latter able to withstand thousands of pounds of dead weight.
PenCell is investing about $5.5 million in the Rocky Mount operation, where it initially intends to employ 150, about the same level as in New Jersey.
Other plastics companies that recently moved to the Rocky Mount area include RW & Able Inc., a thermoformer of interior parts for customized cars and trucks, and E-Z Set Co., a producer of waste-water treatment systems and components.