published Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

2 firms announce expansion plans in AL

ATHENS, Ala. — Two companies that support Alabama's automotive facility announced expansions this week that will bring more add several new jobs in northern Alabama.

A plastics firm plans to open a Limestone County production facility that's expected to employ up to 100 workers when it reaches full capacity, state officials said.

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America intends to invest more than $30 million in the Athens plant, which will be its second U.S. production facility, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said.

The Alabama 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.

Bentley said in a statement that the company's plastic compounds also are used in furniture, pool and spa, industrial equipment and many more applications.

"Alabama's automotive supplier base continues to grow as companies find that Alabama is the best place to locate operations, to expand, and to live," Bentley said in a statement.

Also this week, an automotive supply firm this week announced plans to build its North American corporate office in Elkmont, just north of Athens.

EFI Automotive Inc.'s $2.7 million project announced this week will add 125 jobs in that Alabama community, The TimesDaily reported.

EFI began in Elkmont in 2004. Elkmont Mayor Tracy Compton said the community's new water line and tank project to serve the Elkmont Industrial Park-North has been a key to EFI's expansion.

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