Avgol expansion adding 52 jobs

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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By Jeanna Baxter White

Word Master Media Group

Avgol is expanding in Mocksville.

A $100 million investment will add a sixth multibeam spunlaid production line and a laminate finishing line to meet the growing domestic demand for its ultra-lightweight nonwoven fabrics.

The investment will create 52 new jobs by Dec. 31, 2024, at an average annual wage of $55,647. The company has 260 employees at its facility at 178 Avgol Drive.

Avgol will receive incentives of up to $1.1 million from the county and $416,788 from Mocksville once the investment and job-creation targets are met.

The new production line represents the fifth expansion at Avgol’s flagship facility in Davie County since it purchased the plant from Unifi in 2001. It will make the Avgol America Mocksville plant the world’s largest single producer of non-woven fabric.

“The addition of this new line enables us to have even greater production capacity, delivering component materials that are ‘Made in America’ and offering more sustainable options for the growing North America market and around the world,” said Avgol Acting CEO Sivan Yedidsion. “This new line also enables the Mocksville facility to deliver additional melt-blown nonwovens, ensuring we have extra capacity to meet market demand.

“Serving the growing baby diaper, adult incontinence, and feminine hygiene markets along with satisfying sustained demand for melt-blown filtration and medical materials, this investment enables Avgol to deliver an improved degree of service across the entire domestic region while consolidating and strengthening our existing position,” he said.

Melt-blown nonwovens are made by extruding a thermoplastic resin through small nozzles surrounded by high-speed blowing gas. The randomly deposited fibers form a nonwoven sheet ideal for absorption and filtration, among other applications.

Avgol has a majority ownership by Thailand’s Indorama Ventures Limited Co. This new sixth line will include new Reicofil 5 (RF5) technology and underlines the company’s commitment to the region as a domestic supplier.

The company plans to break ground on 63,000 square feet of additional manufacturing and ancillary space this month and to be machine-ready by late November/early December. The high-tech machinery, which will arrive from Germany in 150 to 160 shipping containers later this year, should be fully operational in November 2024.

Avgol America VP Sales NA/LA & Business Development Ronnie Batchler shared that with the additional 18,000-plus tons of capacity, the Mocksville plant will have roughly the same annual output as all of Avgol’s other global sites combined.

Another aspect of the investment includes adding cutting-edge lamination capabilities, which enables Avgol to offer enhanced-performance products into the existing markets the company serves and explore new opportunities in other markets.

“Lamination capability will enhance the value of the nonwovens we already manufacture,” said Batchler, who explained that laminated nonwovens are used to create products like disposable medical gowns, drapes, and bed pads.

The Town of Mocksville received a $400,000 building reuse grant from the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) to assist the company in up fitting a portion of its warehouse into manufacturing space to house the lamination line. Delivery of the equipment from Italy is expected early next month, and the line should be operational by early fall. Mocksville will become the first Avgol plant with lamination capability.

“The RF5 line and lamination capabilities will provide us a powerful set of platforms as a base from which to provide high-value products for our customers,” said Yedidsion. “It will enable us to further diversify the Avgol innovation portfolio while remaining true to our roots.”

Nick Carter, Avgol’s VP of Marketing, said Mocksville has proven to be the perfect location for serving the markets and industries for which the company provides materials.

“We appreciate the tremendous support from the Town of Mocksville, Davie County, the state of North Carolina, and commerce-driven programs like EDPNC (Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina). When one also considers the educational programs provided at local community colleges and NC State’s dedicated focus on developing nonwoven technologies,  along with qualified graduates to further the advancement of the industry, it is a combination of location and capability that is hard to beat.”

Terry Bralley, president of Davie County Economic Development, is grateful for Avgol’s continued and growing presence in Davie County.

“Our existing industries, like Avgol, are some of Davie County’s greatest assets. Growing new jobs and investing in our community is most rewarding.”