Italy's TeMa building North American base in West Virginia

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Photo by TeMa North America LLC A rendering of the 42,000-square-foot facility under construction in West Virginia for Italian building products extruder TeMa North America LLC.

Italian building products manufacturer TeMa Technologies & Materials srl has started construction of a 42,000-square-foot facility in Kearneysville, West Virginia, where it will produce insulation and drainage products from recycled plastics.

The automated plant will employ 30 and operate around-the-clock.

Vittorio Veneto, Italy-based TeMa is investing about $10m (€8.1m) in the facility, which will begin operations this fall and be called TeMa North America LLC.

TeMa North America CEO Tonj "Tony" Ciotti said the facility will have three extrusion lines manufacturing dimpled membranes made from recycled high-density polyethylene and polypropylene. Its products are used in below-grade residential and commercial uses, including mats and fabric for below-grade drainage; and siding and roofing products, including green roofs.

Of the 50-plus products to be made in West Virginia, Ciotti said the membranes and mats are core to the business and will contain 99% recycled HDPE and PP from post-consumer and post-industrial sources. TeMa has several suppliers in West Virginia and Ohio, he added, and the company recycles post-consumer plastics at the other facilities in the TeMa group.

"In case of a shortage in the U.S. market, we are self-sufficient," Ciotti said.

TeMa does business in the building, composite materials and environmental solutions markets. TeMa North America will be the company's fifth manufacturing plant, along with sites in Italy, Spain, Turkey and Russia. The company says its other four facilities develop and produce items for drainage, earth reinforcement and waterproofing for customers in 60 countries.

TeMa North America will ship products to customers in the US and Canada. Ciotti said the company has had a profitable market in the two countries for years and sees growth opportunities.

"The decision to invest in the USA has been taken not only to expand the actual market but to be near customers, provide faster deliveries and save on freight costs," Ciotti said. "In TeMa North America, we will produce more than 50 different products for different applications."

At an April 16 ground-breaking ceremony, Ciotti talked about the project with a backdrop of exhibits for product lines called QDrain, KMat an XGrid. He told local officials operations should begin in late September or early October.

Ciotti told Plastics News that three extruders will be shipped from Italy while other equipment will be made mostly in the United States. The three lines will yield six to eight truckloads of products a day, he added.

"In general, each line will be operated by two dedicated operators for standard production," Ciotti said. "For specific orders and sizes, we need one additional operator for each line."

TeMa also is looking at solar power options for the Kearneysville plant and plans to take other steps to reduce energy use that Ciotti described as "part of our know how."

"TeMa is focusing on continuous research to increase quality, applications and systems. With much respect for the environment, we use natural and renewable raw materials and we design energy-efficient production plants," he said.

TeMa is part of IWIS Holding, which started out selling asphalt shingles in 1971 and expanded, in part by acquisitions, including the Styrodur factory in Italy from BASF in 2016. IWIS has 670 employees, 14 factories, and distributors and sellers in 70 countries.

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