October 18, 2016 – Tyler Kula, The Observer – A new plastics recycling plant is being planned for the former Entropex property in Sarnia.
The assets of the recently shuttered recycler of rigid, plastic containers – which turned items like shampoo bottles into new packaging and automotive products – are being purchased by Emmie Leung and Tony Moucachen.
The respective founders of recycling companies Emterra Group and Merlin Plastics announced the purchase Tuesday, after a court in London approved their purchase proposal.
“We’re developing our operating plans and we’ll be slowly starting up production over a period of time,” said Emterra VP Pauline Leung.
“We’re working on those plans right now,” she said. “We don’t have specific timelines, but we’re working on those milestones as we speak.”
The new, yet-to-be-named company will also turn rigid plastic containers into usable products, she said, noting it’ll source from various locations in Canada and the United States.
“Recycling, recovery is all part of how Ontario is going to reinvent and move forward in the manufacturing sector, the green economy,” she said.
“It’s a slightly different way of manufacturing, in that we’re taking ‘waste products’ and we’re turning it back into something that has high value and that can be used again and again for new products.”
How the new company will differ from Entropex is proprietary, she said, but plans are to make sure the newest venture is sustainable.
“Obviously we see that there is value in the assets of the team that was there previously,” she said. “We’re creating a new mission and new vision, and ultimately we’ll be injecting additional resources into it.”
Entropex opened in 1978, but went into receivership in July when bankers called their loans amid plummeting oil prices.
Operations ceased July 14 at the company’s 180,000-square-foot facility on Lougar Street, putting 155 people out of work.
There’s no formal hiring plan at this point, Leung said.
“But certainly the team there had a lot of experience and, of course, we’d like … to offer employment opportunities for them.”
There’s been plenty of interest in the property since July, said Rob Smith, with the London office of court-appointed receiver MNP Ltd.
“As far as receiverships go, this went very smoothly,” he said.
The purchase price is sealed until 90 days after the sale closes, he said. It’s expected to close later this week.
Entropex’s secured creditors will get paid, but they’ll suffer a shortfall, he said.
“And there’ll be no more money to distribute beyond secured creditors.”
Entropex president Keith Bechard praised the purchase, calling Emterra and Merlin “tremendous” companies.
“It’s great news for the community,” he said.