Greenwood, S.C.-based Tech-Wood USA is in the midst of building two new plants on the 65-acre site where company officials plan to establish a wood-alternative-building-products business.
Tech-Wood manufactures exterior cladding, decking, railing and retaining wall systems by reinforcing pine strands with polypropylene at its 120,000-square-foot extrusion facility. The products are about 75 percent wood and 25 percent PP.
Unlike many wood-plastic composite building products made from wood flour and polyethylene, Tech-Wood products truly look and act like wood because they are mostly wood, officials say.
The Tech-Wood technology was developed by Tech-Wood International BV of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tech-Wood USA is its own legal entity and not a subsidiary of the European firm.
Tech-Wood expects to employ 125 within the next 18 months, said Peter Kotiadis, Tech-Wood's president and chief executive officer, in a Nov. 12 phone interview.
Tech-Wood is focused on siding and being able to offer a complete system, including corners, soffit and fascia boards, Kotiadis said. The company also is developing window and door profiles, he said.
``It's about four times the stiffness of regular wood-plastic composites,'' he said. ``Physically, it looks like wood, but structurally, it lasts 35-50 years.
``We believe we're the strongest composite material that exists without reinforcement.''