Technological watch

KP adding production, jobs in West Virginia expansion

Klöckner Pentaplast Group is again adding new capacity at a West Virginia packaging plant, a move that will create 60 new jobs through what is described by the company as a multi-million dollar project.

The production expansion adds 16,500 tons of new capacity and involves an extrusion line and two thermoformers for both recycled and virgin PET at the company's Beaver, W.Va., site.

"The expansion responds to continued demand for sustainable options from our food packaging, pharmaceutical, consumer and label film customers," CEO Scott Tracey said in a statement.

"The extrusion line will support production of important sustainable product lines such as kpNext recyclable pharmaceutical blister films, and Smartcycle recyclable label and consumer packaging films. The thermoformers will produce ... KP Elite mono-material protein trays which are made using up to 100 percent recycled PET and are easily recycled creating a circular economy," he said.

The first thermoforming line is expected to be operational by the end of this year and the new extrusion capacity should be operating by the middle of 2023. The second thermoforming line as well as additional space that will be able to house future capacity expansion by the end of next year.

The installation will add 60 jobs to the West Virginia facility with commercialization beginning at the end of 2022. The extrusion addition will be completed in mid-2023. The completion of the second thermoforming line and new production facility, which will be capable of additional capacity expansions in the future, is scheduled for the end of the fourth quarter of 2023.

This expansion follows a November 2020 announcement that previously added extrusion and thermoforming capacity in Beaver through an earlier project. Klöckner Pentaplast, at the time, also revealed plans for a $68 million in expansion projects at the company's Gordonsville and Rural Retreat, Va., locations.

The Beaver plant, located in southern West Virginia about 70 miles south of Charleston, began operations in 2000. A cost estimate for the new work in Beaver was not available from the company April 12.

Klöckner ranks No. 17 in the most recent Plastics News survey of North American film and sheet manufacturers, with relevant sales of $583 million.

Publication date: 12/04/2022

Plastics News

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Last update: 2022-01-31