Plastic bottles baled
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PolyQuest invests in PET recycling operation

The company plans to expand its building in Darlington, South Carolina, and add rail spurs as well as new machinery to process more rPET.

PolyQuest Inc., a distributor of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins and manufacturer of recycled PET resins based in Wilmington, North Carolina, has announced more details on its plans to expand its facility in Darlington, South Carolina. The company initially announced plans to invest in its PET recycling operation in Darlington last September.

Since 2006, the company has produced recycled PET (rPET) at the Darlington facility. Using either postindustrial or postconsumer PET feedstocks, PolyQuest can manufacture amorphous, crystallized and solid-state rPET resins that are either non-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or FDA approved for food contact.

“Our business continues to grow at exponential levels, both organically in virgin PET and rPET as well as via access to new resins such as polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE),” says Tod Durst, president of PolyQuest. “With demand for our products at the highest level we have experienced in our company’s history and limited available supply, our customers are facing extended lead times which predicates that we hold higher levels of safety stock to service their needs. That factor, coupled with the continued push for recycled plastic content from brand owners and converters alike, made our expansion in Darlington a logical one.”

According to a news release from PolyQuest, the expansion will include the addition of four new buildings totaling 225,000 square feet, two new rail spurs, enhanced material handling capabilities and new machinery to process incremental volume of rPET and other thermoplastics. PolyQuest is adding 15 jobs at the Darlington site with plans to grow.

“We have come a very long way in the past 17 years as we systematically grew our footprint in Darlington to accommodate the company’s growth in many directions,” says Ryan Nettles, vice president of operations for PolyQuest and in charge of the Darlington site. “Darlington and the surrounding areas provide us with a very robust labor force to draw from, which is critical to our sustained success.”

PolyQuest reports that construction has already begun at the site with an anticipated completion date of February 2022. “Once this expansion is complete, our Darlington facility will have 525,000 square feet, the capacity to hold 38 rail cars, 160 million pounds of recycled plastic processing capacity, approximately 100 employees and over $50 million invested since 2004,” Nettles adds. “PolyQuest’s goal remains to be the value-added supplier of PET, PP and recycled PET products to our customers and the expansion at Darlington enhances our ability to achieve that goal.”