Washington Penn plans to open a new plant in Kentucky that will compound polypropylene and some polyethylene.
The $105.9 million project will create 88 jobs.
In a Sept. 5 interview with Plastics News, Washington Penn President Will Torpey said the new plant in Winchester, Ky., is needed because of continued growth in the firm's end markets, including appliance, construction, consumer and automotive.
Torpey added that the new plant is likely to cover about 200,000 square feet and will primarily make PP compounds.
"We considered our customer base, logistics and the labor force when choosing a location for the new facility," Torpey said.
Washington Penn's plant in Frankfort, Ky. — about 30 miles away from Winchester — will be unaffected by the new plant, he added.
The expansion was one of 10 projects cited in an Aug. 31 news release from the office of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.
Washington Penn is one of North America's largest PP compounders. The firm is a unit of Audia Group, which also owns and operates materials firms Uniform Color, Audia Elastomers and Southern Polymer.
In late 2020, Washington Penn acquired a compounding plant in Wapakoneta, Ohio, that Ametek Westchester Plastics had closed earlier that year. AWP had operated five twin-screw extrusion lines and three Farrel continuous mixers at the 250,000-square-foot plant, which opened in 1959.
Torpey said that acquiring the Wapakoneta plant was "a good opportunity" for Washington Penn.
Washington Penn also operates two plants in Washington, as well as plants in Lafayette, Ga.; Auburn Hills, Mich.; and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The firm was founded by the Andy family in 1954 and sells into automotive, appliance, building and construction and many other end markets.