The Nevamar Decorative Surfaces plant is owned by Panolam Industries International. Panolam announced last week that it is shifting operations at the South Carolina plant to another subsidiary, Pioneer Plastics, in Maine. Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development said Monday it granted Pioneer and Panolam an incentive package to make the move happen.
Panolam President and CEO Al Kabus said the home interiors industry has been hit by the housing crash of the late 2000s. He added the company would have still consolidated its operations in Maine, even without the government incentives. “The decision to move from South Carolina to Maine with the consolidation was strictly based on our asset lineup, current economic realities, and the inability to move the equipment in Maine to South Carolina,” he told South Carolina Radio Network. “It just had to go this way if it was going to happen.”
Panolam acquired Nevamar in 2006 but the Hampton plant has operated in the small town of roughly 2,800 residents since the 1940s, according to Hampton County Economic Development Commission executive director Sandy Fowler. She said over 220 employees are expected to be affected by the time the facility closes in late November.
“It will have a huge impact in the community,” Fowler said. However, she added county economic officials are working quickly to find a new buyer for the property and says those 220 employees are experienced, loyal, and ready for a new challenge.
Nevamar manufactures high-pressure decorative laminates that are often used in tile floors and other surfaces.
Kabus said Panolam executives are still negotiating a compensation package with the union whose members worked at the Hampton plant.