Workers are finishing steel installation in some areas and starting on floors and service pipes, said IKO Director of Engineering Rob Saunders.
“We’re trying to finish the steel main building installation,” he said. “There is a main building and then some satellite buildings. We’re just starting to pour the slab floors. The rack warehouse is approximately 40 percent done, and we are starting to put in the underground service pipes.”
The plant will produce residential roofing shingles and employ about 70 people, Saunders said.
“What we’re currently doing is bringing in a product from our sister plants here, and we’re distributing it to build a customer base,” Saunders said. “Our hope is to start the plant on two shifts.”
The key departments will include operating, maintenance, receiving and preparation and shipping. New technology will also be part of the plant, located off Fayetteville Road.
“Most of the technology going into this plant we have just installed in our Calgary facility, and it’s due to be commissioned next month,” Saunders said. “It’s a new generation of technology from what we built in our previous plant, so any problems should be sorted out in Calgary before this one starts.”
Products made at IKO’s Sylacauga location will ship within a 300 to 500-mile radius, including Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, North and South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Saunders said there were several advantages to locating in Sylacauga, particularly the availability of marble, or calcium carbonate.
“Our major components are asphalt, granules, calcium carbonate and a fiberglass substrate,” Saunders said. “Fiberglass you can ship pretty well anywhere, but the other ones are critical. The advantage that Sylacauga brought is that across the road is a fairly large source of calcium carbonate. This was one of three places we looked at and given the proximity of the calcium carbonate combined with the incentives that the local Economic Board was able to sweeten the deal with, this became the preferred site.”
The Canada-based company has operations throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. IKO has American shingle plants in Delaware, Washington and Illinois and supply plants in Illinois and Tennessee.
Saunders said the company is “very vertically integrated” in that it prefers to make or obtain a majority of its raw materials through its own resources.
There will be another IKO facility in the U.S. after the Sylacauga location, Saunders said.
IKO is a third-generation family-owned company founded in 1951.
Contact Emily Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.