Bioplastics supplier Cereplast Inc. plans to open a major production plant in Assisi, Italy, in late 2012.
In a May 2 news release, officials with El Segundo, Calif.-based Cereplast said the new plant will open with annual production capacity of about 110 million pounds, and is expected to double that capacity by the end of 2013.
This is a significant step in Cereplast's evolution, Chairman and CEO Frederic Scheer said in the release. The new plant will help Cereplast meet soaring demand for this material in the European market, he added.
The 125,000-square-foot plant is expected to create 150 new jobs at the site and at area businesses, officials said. The location was chosen in part because Cereplast generates 85 percent of its sales from Europe. At present, the firm's only production plant is an 80 million-pound-capacity site in Seymour, Ind.
Cereplast develops and manufactures sustainable plastics based on corn and other materials. Its materials are sold into a variety of processing methods, including injection molding, thermoforming and blow molding.
In 2010, Cereplast posted sales of $6.3 million more than double its 2009 sales total. But Cereplast also posted a loss of almost $7.5 million for the year, after losing almost $6.1 million in 2009.
For 2011, Cereplast has set a much higher sales goal of $32 million more than five times its 2010 result. The firm increased its expectation from $28 million to $32 million after recording sales of just over $7 million in the first quarter.