VEKA Goes South

VEKA South opened its doors on May 17, 2006, in Terrell, Texas. Located at 107 Metrocrest Way, the 100,000-square-foot PVC door and window profile extrusion plant, warehouse and personnel offices lie on approximately 25 acres of land.

Approximately 200 people attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which had a number of guest speakers, including Walter Stucky, president and chief executive officer of VEKA Inc. and Hubert Hecker, chairperson of the board for VEKA Worldwide.

During his speech, Stucky explained that VEKA wanted to set-up a facility in Texas for a number of reasons. In its North American operations, VEKA's strategy is to have an extrusion facility within 500 miles of its customers. Besides its new plant in Texas, VEKA has facilities in Fombell, Pa.; Reno, Nev.; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and Monterrey, Mexico. While no date has been set, the company plans to service its customers in Northern Mexico through its VEKA South facility and close its Monterrey operation with the goal of opening another facility farther south in Mexico.

"We have to be--not just in time--but just in case," Stucky said, speaking of the importance of its Texas location and servicing its customers in the area. "Vinyl is just at the beginning of its growth [in this area.]"

Stucky said it took 18 months to decide on Terrell, Texas, as the location for the company's new facility. VEKA looked at 22 communities and visited 18. While the incentives for building a plant in Terrell were not disclosed, Stucky praised Texas and Terrell's offices of Economic Development.

"We are eager to get started and ready to make our contribution to the community," Stucky said. "We have nothing but praise for these people [of Terrell]."

VEKA invested 6 million in the Texas location, and the facility being located in Terrell means more jobs for the community. The company plans to hire 60 employees in the next year. Currently, the company has ten employees on the VEKA South payroll.

"You being here will impact the success of our economy in Terrell," Mayor Frances Anderson said.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was followed by Texas-style barbecue and refreshments, Stucky and Hecker sat down with the press.

Stucky explained that the facility in Terrell will be 100-percent door and window extrusion-no fence profiles. He also reiterated that the trend from aluminum to vinyl is gaining strength in the South. To help its customers market their products, VEKA will help with everything from marketing to technical designs and more, he said.

Hecker spoke on VEKA Worldwide's growth, stating that the company may possibly have to expand one or two of its North American operations.

North America isn't the only country VEKA is looking to expand. The company is currently looking for land in the Ukraine on which to build a facility. Hecker said that VEKA prefers to build locations from scratch rather than takeover a current manufacturing facility. While it's more of an investment up front, you get exactly what you want, he explained.

Both Stucky and Hecker said that PVC prices in North America would remain high because raw material, specifically resin, is still high. China pays 30 percent less than the U.S. for its resin. Hecker believes that over a period of two years that resin will begin to be sold globally at more of an equal price.

"We're looking at another rough 18 to 24 months," he said.

The VEKA South facility is running four profile lines currently, but it can handle up to 18 lines.

The company estimates that in its first year, it will produce 5 to 10 million pounds of material.

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