Sept. 29, 2014 – Athens, Ala. Federal, State and local officials joined together with Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc. and their honored guests to officially break ground on their newest manufacturing site for advanced thermoplastic compounds in Limestone County. The Athens facility will serve as a production and distribution hub for the company in the southern US, providing service to a number of their key segments in the region; automotive, commercial seating, pool & spa and electrical & electronics.

“This represents a great new development in the partnership between Alabama and a global company with a history of innovation,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Asahi Kasei’s decision to add a second plant in the area and create up to 100 new jobs shows confidence in their Alabama partners and in the Alabama workforce. All the agencies that worked on this project as part of the Alabama team will continue to support the company to make this endeavor a success."

“Asahi Kasei Plastics is a perfect example of the great teamwork and partnership on this project between the state, local government, county commission, economic development, resulting in a $30 million plant to our community,” said Ronnie Marks, mayor of Athens, Alabama. “This is a great opportunity to see growth, not only here, but throughout Limestone County. We are excited to have Asahi joining our community.”

“This newest chapter of our North American operations is pivotal for our company.” said John Moyer, president of Asahi Kasei Plastics. “As we continue on our path of growth, being located in the heart of the automotive hub of the south helps us open new doors with our innovative materials.”

Also in attendance was Yuji Kobayashi, president of Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation. He has been delighted with the support from the community and governmental agencies. “The automotive industry has helped with the strong and sustained growth of our operations. The strengthened state of the US economy and the impact of North American shale gas present a distinct opportunity for additional investments from Asahi Kasei.”

This newest compounding site for Asahi Kasei is expected to be fully operational the first quarter of 2016.