Propex Operating Co. LLC — a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based producer of man-made carpet backing and a
provider of infrastructure and packaging solutions — has announced plans to shutter its Nashville,
Ga., plant and consolidate most of the woven geotextiles production at that location to its carpet
backing manufacturing facility in Hazlehurst, Ga., over the next six months.
The company reports it has a surplus of North American capacity directly resulting from
Federal defense cuts, stimulus elimination and the industry’s shift to nonwoven products, and that
it reduced staff at the Nashville facility over the past few months in an effort to better align
the capacity and demand for its woven geotextiles products.
“While this activity had a positive impact on the unit cost, continued soft demand eroded the
gains realized by that temporary action,” said Mike Gorey, president and CEO, Propex. “The economic
indicators tell us that it is prudent to consolidate our manufacturing operations into one location
at this time as our current global footprint provides more than enough capacity to service the
stabilization and woven GEO marketplace. Our strategic business model shifts our focus to be the
worldwide solutions provider in growing markets, and therefore the Nashville facility will be
“This decision is not a reflection on the workforce in Nashville. It is instead the
reflection of an aggressive marketplace driving pricing pressure from domestic and imported
competitors,” Gorey continued.
In addition, Propex will make a multi-million dollar investment to expand the Hazlehurst
plant’s capacity to begin producing Isis®, its recycled polyester woven backing for commercial
carpet tile. The company has seen increasing global demand for Isis, which it introduced in 2011
and currently manufactures at its plant in Germany.
“Our decision to manufacture Isis in Georgia shows our commitment to provide innovative
products to support the continued growth of the US carpet industry,” said Dave Gartshore, vice
president, Propex Furnishings Solutions and Curv® Composites Divisions. “Our strategy is to
maintain our leadership position continuing to innovate and enhance Isis for commercial tile as
well as developing other innovative products for the markets we serve.”
Propex expects the Hazlehurst expansion to be complete during the summer of 2013, and reports
it will create a significant number of jobs.
June 11, 2013