Alstyle Apparel & Activewear, one of the largest manufacturers of blank T-shirts, is to build a new manufacturing facility in Mexico.

The expansion is part of a two-pronged move by Alstyle to facilitate its future growth and remain cost competitive in the global active-wear market.

The new facility in Agua Prieta, a Mexican border town close to Douglas and Tucson, Arizona, will be leased from a local developer and will be supplied with a combination of newly purchased and existing equipment.

Total capital expenditures are estimated to be between $35m and $40m, with funding coming from internal cash flow and, as required, existing credit facilities.

The new facility will be approximately 700,000 square feet in size and will be vertically integrated, including: knitting, dying, cutting, sewing and distribution.

It is expected to open in the summer of 2009 and be operational that autumn, and at full capacity will employ 2,500 people and produce more than 2m pounds of fabric per week.

Alstyle, a wholly owned subsidiary of business forms supplier Ennis Inc, says it chose Agua Prieta as the location of the plant because of its solid employee base, abundant natural resources, favourable climate and trade corridor access to the North American market.

Headquartered in Anaheim, California, Alstyle makes activewear apparel including T-shirts, fleece, polo shirts, outerwear, and headwear.

In addition to the new site at Agua Prieta, the company also has production facilities at Ensenada and Hermosillo in Mexico.