Exxon starts polyolefin compounding unit
HOUSTON - ExxonMobil Chemical Co. is looking to increase its profile in polyolefin compounding by forming a new business focused on development, production and marketing of those materials.
The new unit's products include polyolefins for automotive applications and range from soft and flexible compounds to reinforced composites, officials said. The compounds and composites are based on ExxonMobil's polypropylene, polyethylene and elastomer-based resins.
Earlier this year, Houston-based ExxonMobil opened a $20 million compounding plant in Baton Rouge, La. The 55-employee plant compounds PP, Santoprene-brand thermoplastic vulcanizates and other specialty elastomers.
In an Oct. 8 news release, officials said the Baton Rouge plant will provide ``complementary capacity'' to a similar plant in Lillebonne, France. ExxonMobil also opened an automotive applications center this year in Kawasaki, Japan.
Mueller Plastics to shutter Ohio factory
Memphis, Tenn. - Mueller Plastics Corp. will close a plastic pipe fittings plant in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and move operations to Wynne, Ark.
Mueller permanently will shut the Upper Sandusky operation, between Nov. 30 and Dec. 15. The plant employs 69, including 28 packers and 12 production technicians, according to information filed with Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services in Columbus.
A company spokesman declined to say why the plant is closing, calling it a strategic consolidation. Mueller bought the operation in 1990.
The company is a unit of Memphis-based Mueller Industries Inc., a publicly held producer of pipe, fittings and related metal and plastic components, with operations across the U.S.
Rastra investing $14M into ICF plants
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. - Insulating concrete form maker Rastra Corp. is investing about $14 million to build one new ICF plant in Columbus, Ohio, and retrofit another in Sanders, Ariz.
Each plant will be about 27,500 square feet, said Rastra President Karl Holik in a recent telephone interview.
Scottsdale-based Rastra combines concrete and recycled expanded polystyrene to mold its wall-panel system. Because of the design, Rastra's ICF system requires much less concrete when walls are poured, he said.
Each new plant will employ about 25 to start, and about 40 at capacity. The company plans to break ground at the Columbus site in October, he said. Both plants should begin operating by next summer.
Holik said Rastra has been making ICFs since 1969, but at that time the product was an all-EPS system. Rastra introduced concrete to the PS beads after BASF AG developed the technology in the 1970s, he said.
Rastra's sales are concentrated primarily in the West. Half of the U.S. population will be within reach from the new Ohio plant, he said.
Hop Industries moves into new HQ plant
LYNDHURST, N.J. - Film distributor and converter Hop Industries Corp. completed a move in mid-September to its new home, a 91,000-square-foot facility in Lyndhurst.
The company had two years to find the right spot and it proved to be about seven miles away - in a building that once served as the headquarters for a zipper company, he said. Hop moved from a leased, 80,000-square-foot space in an old mill in Garfield, N.J.
``They were going to tear down [Hop's previous] building for a Wal-Mart and Lowe's. That gave us the push to look elsewhere,'' President Bob Noetzel said in an Oct. 2 telephone interview.
Hop Industries currently employs 70 making and distributing rigid PVC and PET, as well as synthetic paper. The transfer took about two weeks as the company had to move its stock - it keeps 4 million pounds of plastic on hand, Noetzel said.
Hop Industries does about $45 million in sales and is looking at a 10-15 percent increase next year. The company already is drawing up blueprints to add 25,000 square feet of space by the end of 2008, Noetzel added.