High density polyethylene film and bag maker Hilex Poly Co. LLC of Hartsville is closing its plant in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., laying off 120 workers.
The California site was Hilex Poly's highest-cost facility to operate, Chief Executive Officer Leon Farahnik said in a Feb. 13 telephone interview.
The company is phasing out production immediately and will transfer machinery to other sites. Although the new home for the equipment has not been decided, Hilex Poly has plants in St. Louis; Jerome, Idaho; Richmond, Va.; Milesburg, Pa.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Mount Olive, N.C.; North Vernon, Ind.; and four sites in Texas, in Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Garland and Victoria.
The leased California plant will be converted for distribution.
Farahnik said the bag sector is very competitive and the company has been automating plants.
``You have to be competitive. ... I think imports are always going to be there. They control 25 percent of the market. It will go up 5 percent or down 5 percent, but it will always be there,'' he said.