Athens, Alabama – 20 May 2014 - Asahi Kasei Plastics North America plans to invest more than $30 million to open its second U.S. production facility at a site in Limestone County, Alabama where the company plans to employ up to 100 people at full capacity. The plant will process plastic resin into a finished pellet product that will be shipped to plastic injection molding facilities, where the material will be transformed into automobile components.
Asahi Kasei Plastics operates a production facility in Fowlerville, Michigan. The company is part of Japan-based Asahi Kasei, which operates manufacturing facilities around the globe. Alabama production is projected to begin in early 2016.
“This facility will be central to our strategy to increase our presence in the South and provide ongoing support to customers,” Asahi Kasei Plastics’ President John Moyer said. “We see Alabama being very central to the strong recovery in the automotive industry and other markets we serve and are proud that we will be able to be a part of this exciting growth.”
Governor Robert Bentley said Alabama was an ideal choice for Asahi Kasei Plastics not only because of its location in the heart of the growing Southeastern auto industry corridor but also because the state has the best trained workforce in the nation.
Tom Hill, president of the Limestone County Economic Development Authority, said Asahi Kasei Plastics will build its facility on a 51-acre site in Elm Industrial Park. Athens and Limestone County officials, working in conjunction with state agencies led by the Alabama Department of Commerce, have agreed to extend infrastructure, including rail, to the industrial site.
Improving the rail network at the Limestone County park was a team effort. As part of the project, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) awarded a $250,000 grant for rail spur infrastructure at the industrial site, ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. Athens and Limestone County will fund the remainder of the $1.1 million upgrade, which will benefit the region. In addition, the Alabama Department of Transportation gave a grant to lengthen an industrial road at the industrial site. AIDT, the state’s top-ranked job training agency, and TVA also lent assistance on the project.
Asahi Kasei Plastics arrives in Alabama at a time of explosive growth for the state’s auto industry and amid efforts to attract raw materials producers as a way to round out the support network for the Alabama assembly plants operated by Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai.
Limestone County is an attractive location for the project because of a concentration of chemical companies in the Athens-Decatur area and the presence of Calhoun Community College and Athens State University, along with the Robotics Technology Park operated by AIDT.
Source: Alabama Department of Commerce