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Spartech expanding, adding equipment, in Muncie, Ind.

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June 7, 2012

MUNCIE, IND. (June 7, 11:40 a.m. ET) — Spartech Corp. is planning a 60,000 square foot expansion at its Muncie, Ind., packaging plant, a move that will add two new extrusion lines, several thermoforming lines, and 32 new jobs.

The expansion should be complete by Nov. 1.

The Muncie plant makes food packaging for customers like ConAgra Foods’ SnackPack brand and Knouse Foods’ Musselman`s applesauce, churning out thermoformed containers and rollstock for form, film, and seal applications.

The plant currently has 120 employees. The expansion will create openings for new operators, technicians and engineers. Spartech plans to hold a job fair in July. The company will fill four new positions this year and the remaining 28 positions in 2013.

Spartech’s packaging division has experienced increased demand, making an expansion necessary, said Christi Emmenegger, corporate marketing communications manager.

The company has eight packaging plants in North America. It considered several of those plants for expansion before settling on the Muncie facility.

“The leadership (Muncie) has displayed…has been wonderful,” she said. “We felt like this would be a good place for us to expand, because we have the people in place.”

Spartech purchased the plant from Ball Plastics in 1999.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has committed $75,000 in training funds and $235,000 in tax credits to support the expansion. The Muncie-Delaware County (Indiana) Economic Development Alliance said it would work with local government to assist Spartech with a $2.4 million increment financing bond.

Spartech would not disclose the expansion’s budget, but the company will discuss the investment during its Q2 earnings conference call next week, Emmenegger said.

Spartech, based in Clayton, Mo., operates at 33 facilities in the U. S., Mexico, Canada, and France. In May, the company announced plans to shutter operations at its sheet plant in Cornwall, Ontario, and move production to its Granby, Quebec, facility.

The company posted sales of $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2011. In the most recent Plastics News ranking, Spartech was North America’s 10th largest film and sheet maker.