Plastics Plant Restores Jobs in Odessa

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The shut down of Flint Hills meant hundreds of West Texans lost their jobs. But a new deal with Odessa has put many of those former employees back to work. REX-tac acquired a portion of the Flint Hills facility and now they're up and running.

For almost two weeks, REX-tac has been running full steam ahead picking up where the former Flint Hills plant left off.

"You can see this product in asphalt, paving, in roofing applications, but primarily where we focus is putting this product into hot melted adhesive applications," Blake Batte, REXtac LLC Business Dir. Blake Batte, said.

NewsWest 9 had a chance to take a look inside the new operation. The plastic pellets they manufacture turn up anywhere you could imagine: food, personal hygene products, even footwear.

"We cool it down and package it into small pellets," Project Manager Greg Davis said. "It's an adhesive, so we're compounding other things into this particular product for our customers."

"The initial closure of the plant represented about 400 jobs that were specific to that plant. Our initial intent was to retain one hundred jobs," Batte said.

By the end of this year, REXtac claims they will have met that goal. Many of the former Flint Hills workers came right back to the plant when REXtac opened.

"Guys that have 30, 32, 33 years of experience at the plant working originally with Rexene, then through the Huntsman transition, and finally with Flint Hills," Batte said. "It's been critical for REXtac to latch onto that knowledge base."

"Once we started up, there were guys waiting in line to jump into those positions and really excited to start back up," Davis said.

But starting a new form of production hasn't come without some challenges along the way.

"We have a lot of pressure I guess with bringing the plant back up and making the same products we did and making it to the same specifications or better," Davis said.

REXtac says their growth isn't over. They're planning a future expansion hoping to restore more jobs to Odessa.

"This is good for Odessa, this is good for the perephrial businesses and I think people are really excited," Batte said.