Orion Steps Up Production at South Carolina Compounding Plant

Orion Performance Compounds Inc. is on track to have three compounding lines up and running by the end of June.

Orion’s plant in Lugoff, S.C., opened earlier this year and is currently making a bioplastic-based compound on its first line, President Jim LeGacy said in a recent video interview with Plastics News.

“A lot of companies are owned by venture capital or by big conglomerates, so there’s a vacuum that creates an opportunity for a company like us in high-performance compounds,” he added. “We can offer on-time delivery and creativity and speed to solve problems.”

Orion is a startup owned by LeGacy, Tom Drye and several other plastics industry veterans. LeGacy has more than 25 years of market experience with GE Plastics, Sabic and Amco Polymers.

Orion is investing $13 million in the 50,000-square-foot plant in Lugoff. The plant will create as many as 54 jobs. The state is providing job development credits and also is providing Kershaw County with a $300,000 grant to assist with costs of building improvements.

Orion’s product mix on one single-screw and two twin-screw extrusion lines will include engineered plastics compounds using carbon fiber, lubricants and other additives to make materials for automotive,
aerospace, medical, electrical/electronic and other markets. When all three lines are in place, Orion will have 25 million pounds of annual production capacity.

LeGacy said another early product for Orion will be a medical-grade ABS compound. The firm also will do some tolling work and can make recycled-content compounds, as well as materials for 3D printing.

The Lugoff site was chosen after a multi-state search. Officials said the location has convenient access to multiple interstate highways, which will allow Orion to serve a large geographic customer base.

In Lugoff, Orion has enough land to double the size of its plant. LeGacy said the firm “is already anticipating expansion.” He added that Orion will make compounds on engineering resins ranging from
polypropylene to PEEK.

“We’ll go wherever we have value,” LeGacy said. “We can be a real advocate for our customers in quality precision compounding. We’re designed for growth and are looking to grow the business.”