Manufacturer plans $72 million plant, 89 jobs in Lebanon

The company that makes the water-soluble film used to create products such as Tide Pods and Cascade ActionPacs plans to open a $72 million manufacturing plant in Lebanon that will employ as many as 89 people by the end of 2022.

MonoSol LLC, an Indiana-based subsidiary of Japanese manufacturer Kuraray Co. Ltd., said it hopes to break ground on the 150,000-square-foot facility this summer and be ready for full production by the end of 2020.

The Lebanon City Council voted unanimously Monday night to create a 29-acre economic revitalization area for the plant in Lebanon Business Park on the south side of North Mt. Zion Road, just southwest of Interstate 65.

The council also voted unanimously to provide the company with $2.7 million in real property and personal property tax breaks.

Officials said MonoSol expects to spend $22 million to acquire the land and build the facility, and another $50 million to fill it with manufacturing equipment.

The company plans to pay employees at the facility an average base salary of at least $25 per hour, plus benefits.

MonoSol, which was founded in Portage in 1953 and is headquartered in Merrillville, already has about 500 employees in Indiana. It operates two production facilities in Portage and another in La Porte.

Company officials said increasing demand for its products is creating the need for more production facilities. Laundry pod products have exploded in popularity since coming on the market in 2012.  

MonoSol developed a film from polyvinyl alcohol, or PVOH, in 1953 for use agrochemical and industrial settings. In packaging, the film helps users avoid direct contact with harmful chemical contents but easily dissolves in liquids to release those contents.

The pods have received negative publicity in recent months after hundreds of people who ingested them suffered injuries, but they have still grown to capture about 15 percent of the $7 billion U.S. laundry detergent market.

MonoSol also makes PVOH pouches for shampoo, conditioner and shaving cream, and food-grade packets for various ingredients in food manufacturing. The film is used in dozens of other applications.

Lebanon economic development officials said other sites in Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee were vying to land the plant.

City council members agreed to give MonoSol a 75 percent tax break on its real property over five years, saving the company about $1.8 million.

The eight-year personal property tax break will save the company about $1.9 million.

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