Apr 03, 2024

ADS eyes Florida site for pipe plant

Hilliard, Ohio-based Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. is seeking approval to build a pipe manufacturing plant that will create at least 65 jobs in Lake Wales, Fla.

Manufacturing will cover 432,650 square feet with another 27,650 square feet for offices, according to documents filed with Lakes Wales officials. The 100-acre parcel is by a railroad spur that will be used to ship in recycled polyethylene pellets for processing into corrugated pipes for storm-water projects.

The publicly traded company (WMS) plans to store the finished pipes in the open rather than inside warehouses so the project requires a special exception use permit.

A request to increase the intensity of industrial use from light to "heavy manufacturing" is scheduled to go before local planning and zoning officials Jan. 12.

A city staffer, who asked to remain anonymous, told a local media outlet that the taxable value of the project could approach $100 million. Company officials were not available to discuss the proposal.

The facility will operate 24/7 and employ 65 workers for the primary shift.

In addition to the land use permit from the city, ADS needs to obtain access permits from Polk County because entrances for employees and commercial truck and trailer delivery drivers will be through county-maintained roads.

The facility will receive about 125 inbound and outbound trailer shipments each 24-hour period.

The project plan also calls for putting 20-foot buffers and 6-foot high walls around the site and planting 12 trees per acre.

The proposed plant site is adjacent to several recently-approved residential projects, including a development of townhomes.

Founded in 1966, ADS manufactures stormwater and onsite septic wastewater products for the commercial, residential, infrastructure and agriculture markets. The company also is the largest recycler in North America, according to Plastics News data.

ADS posted net sales of $2.7 billion in its fiscal year that ended March 31, 2022, which was a 39.7 percent increase compared with the prior year.

At the time, ADS CEO Scott Barbour pointed to strong demand across the product portfolio, particularly in Florida, Texas and California.

The Texas Department of Transportation recently approved the use of thermoplastic pipe in storm sewer and culvert applications statewide.

Based on business trends and the backlog of existing orders, ADS' guidance for 2023 calls for net sales in the range of $3.1 billion to $3.2 billion.

ADS operates about 70 manufacturing plants and 37 distribution centers. As the largest plastic recycling company in North America, the company diverts more than half a billion pounds of plastic from landfills annually.

Based on its $2.1 billion sales in 2021, ADS ranks fourth among North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders in PN rankings.

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