Lehigh Technologies Inc. is planning for further growth and expansion with an infusion of $18 million in equity financing.
Naples-based Lehigh, which opened its first engineered ultrafine-rubber production plant in early 2006 in Tucker, Ga., announced Jan. 30 that private equity fund NGP Energy Technology Partners LP of Washington is leading a group of new and existing investors providing new funds.
NGP is an affiliate of NGP Energy Capital Management, a $3.6 billion firm in Irving, Texas, that invests in all sectors of the energy industry.
As part of the transaction, two managing partners of NGP Energy, Philip Deutch and Christopher Sorrells, will join the nine-member Lehigh board of directors.
Lehigh Chief Financial Officer Pat George said Lehigh is nearing the end of the first phase of its development plan whereby the Tucker facility is brought to full capacity.
That move should happen in four to six weeks, and the plant will be able to produce 100 million pounds annually. It uses a patented cryogenic process to convert waste rubber into fine powder.
The next phase will include a second facility in the Southeast, according to the company. Further details have not been disclosed.
Chief Operating Officer Anthony Cialone said Lehigh's products are gaining acceptance, but some customers need guarantees of high volumes before changing.
The company provides rubber powder, pellets and concentrates to molders and extruders.