Plastics manufacturer Retal to locate in Donora, create 88 jobs

Michael Bradwell
Observer Reporter

An international plastics packaging manufacturer will create 88 jobs as it opens a regional headquarters and production plant in Donora.

According to an announcement Tuesday from Gov. Tom Wolf, Retal PA LLC, which purchased an existing 140,000-square-foot facility at 55 S. Washington St., is investing at least $15 million, with company estimates reaching $24 million, to purchase machinery equipment and training for new employees. The company has also committed to create 88 new, full-time jobs over the next three years.

Wolf’s announcement followed a June announcement that Retal had purchased a space previously occupied by Spartech Polycom, a plastics manufacturer.

According to Wolf, Retal received a funding proposal from the state Department of Community and Economic Development that includes a $352,000 Pennsylvania First program grant, $264,000 in job creation tax credits and $67,288 in WEDnetPA full-time employee training. The company also was approved for two low-interest loans from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority totaling $2.4 million in June.

“Our readily available and highly trained labor pool was the deciding factor in Retal’s choice to locate a headquarters operation in Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “This project will revive a shuttered manufacturing facility and bring a significant economic investment and job creation to the community.”

The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team in collaboration with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Pittsburgh Regional Authority.

PRA President David Ruppersberger said Retal’s presence in Donora represents a reinvestment in the area that “further strengthens the plastics industry’s presence here, which leverages our manufacturing heritage, advanced manufacturing capacity, ample supply of reliable, low-cost natural gas for fuel; and soon, in-region production of polyethylene. These assets, coupled with Southwestern Pennsylvania’s strategic location close to Retal’s customer markets set the stage for successful plastics fabrication.”

Jeff Kotula, president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, noted that the project “not only exemplifies Pennsylvania’s competitiveness in attracting international investment but also the continued revitalization of the Monongahela Valley” through state and county economic development organizations.

“Establishment of a new regional headquarters is a massive undertaking for any company,” said Retal PA President and Chief Executive Officer Admir Dobracca, who thanked the various agencies for helping his company with financial assistance.

It was unknown Tuesday when the building would be ready for production. Dobracca did not return calls seeking additional comment on the project, which becomes the first new plastics manufacturing site to be announced since Shell Appalachia LLC announced in June that it would build an ethane cracker plant in Monaca, Beaver County. The plant will crack ethane molecules to make polyethylene, a plastic used to make a variety of products.

Retail PA LLC is a subsidiary of Retal Industries LTD, a Cyprus-based international manufacturer of polyethylene terephthalate(PET) plastic preforms and containers and high density polyethylene lids and closures for the food and beverage industries used in the production of plastic bottles for water, carbonated and still drinks and liquor and beer.

The company also produces PET resin and PET film.

Retal owns production facilities in Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Luxemburg and Germany.