1 Front Street
Cumberland, RI 02864
Tel: (877) 431-0200
Fax: (401) 305-3033
Founded in 1999 in East Providence, RI, Chemtex started off as a master distributor of oil and chemical absorbents. During this time the company sold meltblown polypropylene sorbent pads, rolls, booms, socks and pillows. Lenny Johnson, president of Chemtex realized the business landscape was changing. In order to stay competitive Chemtex needed to add complementary lines to continue to grow the business.
In 2007, having outgrown its original building in East Providence, Chemtex moved to its current 50,000 square feet distribution center located in Cumberland, RI. Despite growing in size over the years, the company still struggled with diminishing margins. “We were competing directly with manufacturers but we were still just a ‘middle man’ reselling to other distributors,” says Johnson.
In 2015, Chemtex invested in the future of the company and its employees with the addition of a 90,000 square foot manufacturing facility located in Milledgeville, GA. There the company maintains an automated manufacturing process that includes polypropylene extrusion, thermal bonding, bidirectional perforating, sheeting, stacking and rewinding.
Chemtex also has a scrap converting operation, where it reprocesses over 95% of its post-industrial waste into accessory absorbent products, such as booms, socks, pillows and spill kits. By reprocessing its own waste, it is eliminating what goes to the landfills and manufacturing useful products at the same time.
“Becoming a manufacturer of the products we distribute has allowed Chemtex to control our own destiny,” Johnson says. “This new facility really helped to solidify current customer relationships as well as opening new doors for growth opportunities.”
“Safety First!” Companies are responsible for maintaining a clean and safe workplace for its employees. This responsibility includes protecting the environment, especially when working with petroleum liquids and hazardous chemicals. This means having a proper spill control plan in place at all times. “Chemtex helps companies comply with all of the above by manufacturing a variety of premium meltblown polypropylene sorbent products, including sorbent pads, rolls, booms, socks, pillows and spill kits. These items and more are used in day-to-day MRO applications for catching drips and leaks and for major catastrophic incidents by oil spill response organizations all over the world,” Johnson explains.
Today, Chemtex has three locations, all on the east coast of North America. It services over 500 distributors in over 40 states and 20 foreign countries.
Chemtex has plans to expand its capacity by adding an additional 60-inch meltblown line. According to Johnson, this will help reduce costs and give the company a lot of flexibility when it comes to running “hot rush” orders that arise often when working in the spill industry. The new line is in the planning stage and is expected to come onstream sometime in the near future.
With this expansion, Chemtex will also grow its inside and outside sales teams. “We feel by having more capacity and a larger sales team to sell the additional line will help set us up for the next spurt in growth. It’s an exciting time for our company and employees,” Johnson says.