Owens-Illinois, Inc., announced today both a regional expansion and contraction as a result of the ongoing review of its global manufacturing footprint. The company will invest approximately NZ $80 million ($60 million USD) to expand its Auckland, New Zealand, plant, by adding an additional furnace and two glass container forming machines.
The Auckland expansion, which is expected to be in full operation by the first quarter of 2010, will increase the annual output of glass containers from the plant by 90,000 tons to help support the country's continuously growing demand for glass packaging.
The expansion will create about 35 new jobs and provide the plant with the ability to make 2.2 million bottles per day once it is fully operational. Additionally, the company will close its glass container plant in Toronto, Ontario, after a global facility review of underutilized assets identifies the opportunity to shift production to other O-I North American facilities.
The closing will occur on September 30, 2008. Approximately 430 employees will be affected. The company will provide assistance to help employees seeking new jobs.
"As we further realign our global footprint, we are committed to expand in those regions where we have an attractive growth profile as we do in New Zealand and contract where we have the opportunity to consolidate our furnace base and use it more effectively, which was the basis of the Toronto decision," said Al Stroucken, Chairman and CEO. "We will continually work to optimize our asset and furnace utilization while at the same time expand in the regions where profitable growth supports new investments."
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