PET recycler PolyQuest Inc. is expanding its Darlington, S.C., facility, driven by stronger demand for recycled content plastic and supply shortages requiring the company to keep more materials on hand.
The new expansion will add two rail spurs, new recycling and material handling equipment and 225,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space, giving it a total of 525,000 square feet in Darlington, the Wilmington, N.C.-based company said in a June 1 news release.
President Tod Durst said the company is seeing "exponential" growth from its virgin and recycled PET product lines as well as for polyethylene and polypropylene.
In addition to its recycling operations, the company said it's the largest distributor of PET resin in the U.S. and Canada.
"With demand for our products at the highest level we have experienced in our company's history and limited available supply, our customers are facing extended lead times, which predicates that we hold higher levels of safety stock to service their needs," Durst said. "That factor, coupled with the continued push for recycled plastic content from brand owners and converters alike, made our expansion in Darlington a logical one."
Ryan Nettles, vice president of operations, said the company expects to complete construction in February 2022.
The expansion will give it 160 million pounds of recycled plastic processing capacity in Darlington and will add 15 employees, boosting employment to about 100 at the site. It will have capacity for 38 rail cars, he said.
PolyQuest has facilities in Darlington and in Farmingdale, N.Y., as well as an office in Austria.
It ranked as the 29th-largest plastics recycler in the U.S. and Canada in the most recent Plastics News ranking, with 98.3 million pounds reprocessed.
It's the company's second recent investment announcement. In September it said it would install a production line for food-grade recycled PET pellets this year to meet increasing demand for recycled content packaging.