Global materials maker Borealis AG will build a plant in Taylorsville, N.C., dedicated to making polypropylene-based compounds for the auto industry.
"This decision demonstrates the continuing commitment of Borealis to the global automotive industry," officials with the Vienna-based firm said in a May 24 news release.
They added that together with Borouge — its joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. — Borealis is "increasingly well positioned to serve [its] automotive customers on a global basis."
North Carolina has been selected for its strategic location and proximity to the company's customer base, officials said, as well as for "the business-friendly and supporting environment of the state and county."
The new facility will serve automotive OEMs and their suppliers in North America. It's set to open in early 2019 and will initially produce PP compounds in the firm's Daplen family of PP thermoplastic olefins (TPO) and in the Fibremod range of PP short-glass-fiber reinforced materials.
The plant will complement the existing Borealis Automotive Compounding assets located in New Jersey, as well as the current production via tolling partners.
The plant will create 37 new, full-time jobs by 2020, with that number increasing to 50 by 2022, a company spokesman said. The site will have annual compounding production capacity of almost 70 million pounds.
It will occupy a 50,000-square-foot space, which can be expanded to 125,000 square feet if needed, the spokesman added.
Borealis currently operates a PP compounding site in Port Murray, N.J., primarily making compounds for the wire and cable market. Last year, the firm installed an automotive compounding line there with annual capacity of about 22 million pounds.
"We're aware that North America is a competitive market with established suppliers," automotive marketing head Nicholas Kolesch said in the release. "However, we're convinced that our cutting-edge material solutions will continue to help our customers create value through innovation and enable us to grow with them on a global basis."
The compounding plant is the second major U.S. project announced by Borealis in the last three months. In March, the firm said that it was forming a joint venture with Nova Chemicals Corp. and Total Petrochemicals that will include a new 1.35 billion pound capacity polyethylene resin unit in Bayport, Texas.
Borealis and Calgary, Alberta-based Nova have shared ownership in the form of International Petroleum Investment Co. of Abu Dhabi. IPIC owns all of Nova and is majority owner of Borealis.