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Plastics company nears startup

By Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 5:40 PM

An Italy-based plastics production company will soon move into its new Lebanon facility.

SO.F.TER, headquartered in Forli, Italy, is currently finishing construction on a 100,000-square-foot facility off Highway 109.

The site is the company’s first foray into the United States.

According to Mark Rodden, managing director for SO.F.TER U.S., the new site will be dedicated to the production, development and sale of engineering plastics based on polyamide, polypropylene, thermoplastic elastomers and other advanced solutions for the U.S. market.

Based on its extensive expertise and a broad list of approvals developed over the last 30 plus years, SO.F.TER officials expect to have a strong presence in the automotive, appliance, construction and electrical markets. 

Construction on the site, which is located by Kenwal Steel, began at the end of July, and according to Rodden, is now nearing completion.

“The latest schedule still has us being able to set equipment right around the first of the year,” said Rodden. “To get all that hooked up, lined out and turned on takes a couple of months. We’ll be in operation at the end of [March].”

He said they’re beginning preparations to hire a startup crew, initially between 12 and 15 employees.

“As we start setting equipment, we’ll have to have people that can run the equipment, so we’ll have to have some of those positions,” said Rodden. “There may be some [office staff] sprinkled in as support staff.”

He said the departments would likely start off small and eventually expand.

“We’re going to work with the city of Lebanon on as far as the hirings go,” said Rodden. “We want to work closely with the local folks to partner with them, if you will, on every round of hirings. So we’ll be reaching out to the local group here soon.”

Officials said the company plans to eventually expand the facility to 250,000 square feet and employ up to 150 people.

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