Owens-Illinois expands French facility with $60m investment

Owens-Illinois (O-I) has announced an investment of more than $60 million to expand its plant in Gironcourt, France, as it responds to growing consumer demand for sustainable glass packaging.

Plans include building a new furnace and will focus on the growing premium beer segment, which, O-I said, is highly differentiated and uses unique bottle shapes to build strong, premium brand equity. It is expected the project will be completed in early 2020.

O-I CEO Andres Lopez said: “Our customers recognise that glass brings unique brand-building capabilities. It delivers what consumers want – premium, healthy and sustainable packaging.

“The expansion at Gironcourt is an important part of O-I’s investment strategy to support the growing demand for glass in premium segments.”

The announcement comes weeks after O-I revealed plans to spend €50 to upgrade its glass packaging plant in Reims, France. The factory predominantly produces glass bottles for premium wine producers in the Champagne, Burgundy, Loire Valley regions in France.

This investment will allow the company to produce bottles in three colours and in sizes ranging from 0.2-litres to Magnum-size.

Last November, Ohio-headquartered O-I acquired nearly 50% in Empresas Comegua, a manufacturer of glass containers for the Central American and Caribbean markets.

The firm operates two glass manufacturing facilities, one in Costa Rica and another in Guatemala, and serves many of O-I’s global strategic customers.

O-I also recently launched O-I : EXPRESSIONS, a direct-to-glass digital printing technology.

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