HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 10) — Riken Elastomers Corp. is spending almost $20 million to build a thermoplastic elastomer compound plant in Hopkinsville.
The plant is set to open in July as a joint venture between Riken Technos Corp. — the Tokyo-based parent of Riken Elastomers — and Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp. The site will cover almost 58,000 square feet and will employ 24.
The new plant primarily will supply Japanese-owned auto parts manufacturers based in the U.S., according to an Aug. 9 news release from Kentucky's Cabinet for Economic Development.
"Our domestic sales of thermoplastic elastomer compound have been steadily increasing, centering on the automotive area, and are expected to accelerate in the future in both Japan and North America," Riken Technos President Koichi Kinoshita said in the release.
Riken Technos was founded in 1951 as a PVC compounder in Tokyo. The firm now has annual sales of more than $600 million and employs almost 1,500 worldwide.