A $400,000 Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grant provided by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is helping Balcan Innovations, Inc. bring 80 manufacturing jobs at its Pleasant Prairie facility. That’s an increase over the 60 positions Balcan had originally expected to bring to Pleasant Prairie last June.
Balcan is a Quebec-based manufacturer of flexible packaging and technical films. The $400,000 TEA grant will be used to build a rail spur.
“The TEA grant and our rail spur connectivity allows Balcan to supply its facility in the most economic and environmentally friendly manner. It is the next crucial step in our development of our U.S. flagship manufacturing location. We are thrilled to be in Pleasant Prairie, and grateful for the support of the state of Wisconsin,” said Dano Lister, CEO of Balcan.
The TEA grant will help construct a turnout from the Union Pacific Railroad mainline and about 1,760 feet of new industry spur track to allow Balcan to receive rail shipments of plastic resin, the primary raw material used in their manufacturing process. Construction is expected to begin this summer.
In 2021, Balcan acquired a manufacturing plant that had ceased operations earlier in the year. An affiliate of the company paid $13 million to acquire the 50-acre property at 7201 108th St. from Mondi Akrosil LLC.
"The village is delighted that WisDOT is awarding a TEA grant to help fund the rail spur improvement project to Balcan Innovations,” said Jean Werbie-Harris, community development director. “The company has created manufacturing jobs and continues to enhance an existing industrial building. The investment in the Pleasant Prairie facility will allow the company to use the rail system to deliver raw materials and reduce the number of trucks visiting the facility each day.”
Balcan plans to manufacture polyethylene blown film and related converted products like bags, pouches and sheeting. Balcan would make 15 million pounds of finished product in its first full year of production at the site and scale up operations over time.