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Mansonville, QC

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Our History


Mansonville Plastics Ltd. & Potton Chemicals Ltd.

The story of Mansonville Plastics Ltd., established in 1958 by the Korman family, and its transformation into Potton Chemicals Ltd. encapsulates a legacy of innovation, resilience, and growth within the plastics industry. Starting with the production of insulation and ceiling tiles, the company navigated through challenges, including a devastating fire in 1963, to expand its product line and geographical footprint. This timeline highlights the critical junctures and strategic decisions that have defined its journey from a local manufacturer to a significant player in the plastics and chemicals industry.

Our Start

Mansonville Plastics Ltd. was incorporated by Albert and Fred Korman, along with their father, Albert Senior, focusing on manufacturing insulation and ceiling tiles from expandable polystyrene beads, that were imported from Europe.

Expansion Begins

Within four years, the company expanded its product line to include polyurethane moldings and cushioning, employing 40 workers.

Fire Strikes

In the afternoon of Saturday, June 29th, 1963, a major fire destroyed the Mansonville Plastics premises, but reconstruction began immediately. The company resumed full production before the winter.

Buy Out

Albert and Fred Korman bought out Albert Senior’s shares, expanded the company with additional plants in Ajax, Ontario, and Vancouver, B.C., and established warehousing in Calgary, Alberta.

Owl’s Head Ski Area

Albert Korman served as Vice-President and General Manager of the Owl’s Head Ski Area, an enterprise developed in partnership with his brother Fred Korman.

Share Exchange

Albert Korman gained complete control of Mansonville Plastics Ltd. through a share exchange with his brother, Fred.

Raw Materials

Armand Russell purchased 50% of Mansonville Plastics shares, facilitating the foundation of Potton Chemicals Ltd. by Albert Korman to supply raw materials to Mansonville Plastics.

Styrene Monomer Becomes Unavailable

Potton Chemicals faced market restrictions due to competition with Mansonville Plastics. Completion and operational delays of Potton Chemicals’ manufacturing unit due to the global unavailability of styrene monomer.

Quality EPS in Production

Mansonville Plastics buys machinery from John Manville from a factory located in Chicago. With a licence from a French society Rhone Poulenc, Potton chemicals starts making quality EPS.


Mansonville Plastics Ltd.’s assets were sold off, and the company name merged with Potton Chemicals Ltd. in September.

Innovation Continues

Potton Chemicals continued producing fire-resistant and regular E.P.S. beads under the “Styro Ex” brand, with R&D efforts focused on innovative bead products for international markets.

R&D Program

The launch of a significant R&D program to develop E.P.S. beads for disposable cups, leading to international distribution and a major expansion of reactor capacity to 33 million lbs. annually.

Expanding Capabilities

Expansion of production capabilities and R&D facilities, including relocation of the R&D lab and retention of the quality control lab near the production unit.

25th Anniversary

The year 1983 marked the 25th anniversary of the plastics industry in Mansonville, celebrating the legacy and growth from Mansonville Plastics to Potton Chemicals and ensuring business growth and employment opportunities.

Polymère Huntsman-Russtek

In late 1983, Huntsmans and Potton Chemicals formed a joint venture, resulting in the establishment of Polymère Huntsman-Russtek of Canada.

Huntsman Chemical Company of Canada

Huntsman acquired all shares of Russtek of Canada, leading to the company's transformation into Huntsman Chemical Company of Canada.

Plant Closes

In 2007, Huntsman Chemical Company closes in Mansonville. About 40 employees lost their jobs and the production is transferred to Peru, Illinois.

NexKemia's Story

NexKemia Petrochemicals Inc.

July 1, 2008, NexKemia Petrochemicals, Inc. acquired an idle EPS manufacturing facility in Mansonville, Quebec. Small group of 10 people

New Certifications

In 2009, material qualification process and UL/ULC Flammability Certification. Issuance of ESR Evaluation Report 2949 (Intertek).

Increased Capacity

Fall 2010, new 4th Reactor comes online. Brings capacity to 60 MM lbs.

Additional Reactor

In 2015, an addition of Reactor 5 increases capacity  to 80 MM lbs.

Capacity Continues To Grow

In 2018, Reactor 6 was added. Capacity is increased to 100 MM lbs.

Reactor 7

In 2020, Reactor 7 brings site capacity to over 120MM lbs.

R&D Focus

In 2021, Extrusion R&D Line is installed. Creation of R&D group focusing on the specialty resin development.

Expansion Continues

In 2022, Extrusion plant & Line 1 operational: 15MM lbs./year.

Eco Captation

In 2022, an acquisition of polystyrene recycler Eco Captation allows for an increased focus on sustainability.

200 MM lbs./year Capacity

In 2023-24, Extrusion Line 2 operational by 1st Qtr. of 2024. Increases total capacity close to 200 MM lbs./year.

Reactor 8

In 2024, Reactor 8 is online by July, feedstock for extruded EPS.

Growing Team

Currently 90 NexKemia employees on our growing team.


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