In announcing its most recent round of financial results last week, Thrace Group said it would transfer a needlepunch line from its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, Thrace-Linq, in South Carolina, to its Don & Low facility located in Forfar, Scotland, with the goal of strengthening and consolidating its presence in the United Kingdom and northwestern Europe. The move also significantly reduces Thrace’s presence in the U.S. geotextiles market, the company said.
Thrace-Linq completed its latest expansion, an Andritz needlepunch nonwoven line in Summerville, S.C., in February 2019. At the time, the company said the $9 million investment was intended to satisfy the growing demand for its high-performance nonwoven fabrics in North America. The state-of-the-art needlepunch nonwoven line was designed to produce world-class quality fabrics for the geosynthetics, automotive and floor covering markets. Thrace did not indicate if this is the line scheduled to be moved overseas.
During the first nine months of 2019, Thrace Group, which is based in Greece, reported weakened volumes in the Technical Fabrics sector and cited decreased demand in the geosynthetics market in the U.S. as one of the factors contributing to this weakness.