FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany—Turkish plastic compounder Elastron Kimya A.S. is investing $10 million to open a factory in the U.S.—its first outside its home country—to meet growing demand in automotive and other markets.
Elastron, which makes thermoplastic elastomer compounds, said in an interview at Fakuma that the facility near Atlanta will come online in 2018.
The firm also said it plans to open a compounding plant in China in 2020.
"We are growing very fast and logistics was a very big issue for us, so we decided to open a factory in the United States," said Serif Erdogan, research and development manager with the Gebze, Turkey-based firm.
The U.S. plant, in Gainesville, Ga., will start with two extrusion lines and annual capacity of 3,500 metric tons, but the company is targeting 6,000 metric tons by 2020, he said.
"We are very strong in the automotive market and growing very fast in the automotive, construction and consumer applications," he said.
The U.S. facility will make thermoplastic vulcanizates compounds, along with styrenic block-based copolymers and TPEs.
Erdogan said the U.S. market is more accepting of those materials than other markets because TPV was first developed there.
"The TPE market is really huge in the United States," he said. "The U.S. market knows TPE much more than Europe or ? other continents."