Flex Films is off and running in Elizabethtown - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Flex Films is off and running in Elizabethtown

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- An India-based company that has started up its new operation in Elizabethtown, Ky. is off and running. 

Flex Films is a 180,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that cost about $100 million to build.  It makes Polyethylene Terephthalate, or PET film which is used to create bags for chips and candy, along with many other products.

As Steve Sergeant with Flex Films Research and Development explains, "We start with plastic material that comes in like a small pellet...It's melted in what's called an extruder, turned into a liquid. It's then made into a thick film and the film is sequentially stretched to make it thin and strong."

It is the first investment from India in Kentucky, and it created about 100 new jobs in Elizabethtown.  "It provided the necessary ingredients for what we needed to build," said Business Head Ram Srivastav.

The state provided tax incentives to lure Flex's Films, though the company's leaders insist it's more of the Governor's Southern hospitality that sealed the deal, with Gov. Steve Beshear taking a couple of trips to India to see it through.

Srivastav said, "The fact that there was so much interest and support in them through this process and establish a manufacturing industry here that was a much bigger driver."

State officials toured the facility this week, saying it's part of a much larger plan.  As Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson put it, "We're hopeful that we'll see other Indian companies invest in the Commonwealth's future."

Flex Films has operations in Europe, Asia, and Africa.  For Production Planner Heather Sidebottom, being part of the pioneering team in America provides a lot of satisfaction: "I feel a lot of accomplishment because you come into most facilities, they already have structure set and they train you, and this is how you do it. So being able to make a standard of your own is really neat.

Flex Films already has land purchased with plans to expand in Elizabethtown.  Leaders say sales will decide when they start construction.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News.  All rights reserved.

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