COVINGTON, Ga. — A sharp increase in demand for hygiene products made with bicomponent fibers is prompting FiberVisions to invest $48 million to expand its manufacturing operations in Newton County, Gov. Brian Kemp announced today.
The expansion of the Covington plant's polyolefin fiber operations will add 21 jobs and comes in response to a sharp increase in demand for hygiene products such as face masks and baby wipes.
Installation of the bicomponent fiber line is expected to be complete by the first half of 2021. Once renovations are complete, FiberVisions will be hiring for positions in advanced manufacturing.
“We are very appreciative of the support we have received from Newton County and the state of Georgia for this third phase of our capacity expansion plans in Covington,” said FiberVisions CEO Tom Zaiser.
“As a pillar of the Covington community for many decades, we are pleased to welcome 21 new employees into the FiberVisions and Indorama Ventures family, and we are making plans for additional capacity expansions in the near future.”
Polyolefin fibers are synthetic fibers in which the fiber forming substance is a synthetic polymer which is at least 85% by weight of polyethylene, polypropylene or any other polyolefin, according to the website polymerdatabase.com.
The company, which is a subsidiary of Thailand-based Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd., employs about 230 at its Alcovy Road plant in Covington, according to a recent publication from the Newton County Industrial Development Authority.
David Bernd, executive director of the Authority, said the agency “is honored, and extremely excited, for the expansion of the Covington FiberVisions facility.”
“Installing a $48 million asset into a 50-year-old building just doesn’t happen every day,” Bernd said.
“Not only is it a historic milestone for Indorama Ventures, but also for the local Covington FiberVisions team. It reinforces our belief and trust in the fact that the IDA’s economic development vision and workforce development strategies are paying off,” Bernd said.
“Here’s to another 50 years of the FiberVisions family being a vital and close partner in the region!”
The plant opened in Covington in 1967 as a subsidiary of Hercules Inc., famous for producing Herculon fiber found in carpeting and furniture worldwide.
It reportedly had the goal of producing 25 million pounds of polypropylene fiber to support Georgia’s carpet manufacturing industry.
FiberVisions is now the world’s leading supplier of bicomponent fibers and an international producer of polyolefin staple fibers for nonwoven applications.
In addition to face masks and baby wipes, the company’s products are used in diapers and many other everyday hygiene products.
Headquartered in Duluth in Gwinnett County, the company also maintains operations in Athens.
Kemp said, “Since the 1960s, FiberVisions has been creating jobs and opportunities for hardworking Georgians in Covington, Duluth, Athens and the surrounding regions.
“I congratulate FiberVisions and Indorama Ventures on their 50-year success in the Peach State, and I thank them for continuing to invest in their home state.”
Senior Regional Project Manager Kristen Miller represented the Georgia Department of Economic in partnership with the Newton County Industrial Development Authority.
Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said, “Seeing a company with a long-term history in the state like FiberVisions continue to expand and invest in their Georgia operations is yet another example of our relationship approach to doing business, which is delivering jobs and opportunities to Georgians.
“I thank FiberVisions for their commitment to Georgia as well as our partners at the local level who have helped foster our decades-long foundational relationship with FiberVisions.”