Inergy to close Ontario fuel-tank plant
PARIS - Inergy Automotive Systems will close its blow molded fuel-tank operations in Blenheim, Ontario, and spend $8.2 million to consolidate manufacturing at its facility in Adrian, Mich.
The state of Michigan announced Inergy's plans in a Nov. 13 news release, noting that it will aid the company's move with a $1.3 million tax credit.
Inergy, the Paris-based joint venture of Solvay SA and Plastic Omnium, expects to add 189 jobs in Adrian. The Adrian plant has produced more than 10 million fuel tanks.
About 24 percent of Inergy's 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in annual sales is in North America. The company also has North American plants in Anderson, S.C., and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.
IAC plans major upgrades in Michigan
DEARBORN, MICH. - International Automotive Components North America Inc. is investing $3.3 million at its Port Huron, Mich., plant to upgrade operations, and spending another $804,000 in Warren, Mich., to improve production there.
The Dearborn-based auto supplier is receiving a $23 million tax credit from the state of Michigan over a 10-year period to help finance the improvements, which will lead to another 200 jobs in the state as the company consolidates its holdings.
The investments will not include any physical expansion of IAC facilities, but will add new equipment, with IAC investing in equipment to expand urethane foam production for headliners in Port Huron, said company spokesman David Ladd in a Nov. 14 telephone interview. The company has about 200 employees in Port Huron.
The investment in Warren will improve assembly and sequencing operations for instrument panels, center consoles and overhead systems. IAC employs 175 in Warren.
Promens Canada to shut rotomolding site
MIDDLEBURY, IND. - Promens Canada Inc. will close one of its two rotational molding plants.
Its facility in Lindsay, Ontario, is likely to finish production by the end of the first quarter of 2008, affecting 80 workers. Production will be divided among several other Promens plants, according to Promens North America human resources Vice President Frank Ermeti.
Although the Lindsay plant recently improved its fixed costs, the higher value of the Canadian dollar has hurt the competitiveness of the operation, Ermeti said in a telephone interview. As well, customers for the plant are concentrated in the southeast United States, closer to other Promens plants that have excess capacity. Most of Lindsay's production is large storage bins and hoppers for commercial and industrial use.
The Lindsay plant has 10 production lines. Some equipment will be moved to other Promens plants, but other machinery will be mothballed in Lindsay for the possible sale of the operation, Ermeti said.
Promens Canada's other plant is in Saint John, New Brunswick.
The firm is part of Promens North America of Middlebury, which logged rotomolding sales of $94.3 million for 2006, making it the third-largest rotomolder in North America.
Entek sale won't affect sister company
LEBANON, ORE. - The sale of Entek International LLC, which makes polymer battery separators, will have no impact on its sister company, extruder maker Entek Manufacturing Inc., a spokesman of the machinery company said.
Jim Young, who founded both companies, has sold Entek International to a group of senior managers.
Young started the battery separator business in his basement in 1979. He established Entek International in 1984, to produce a polyethylene battery separator. Car batteries are a major market, but Entek International has expanded into other areas, such as separators for lithium ion batteries, like those used in cell phones.
Young will continue to own Entek Manufacturing, which makes twin-screw extruders for compounding, sheet and wood-plastic composite profiles. The company sells extruders to a range of customers. Entek International is still a customer of Entek Manufacturing, the company spokesman said. Both firms are based in Lebanon.