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Colombia's Phoenix Packaging expanding in Virginia

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December 5, 2012

DUBLIN, VA. (Dec. 5, 12:15 p.m. ET) — Phoenix Packaging Operations LLC is investing $20 million to expand its North American headquarters and operations in Dublin, Va.

The company has purchased a 75,000 square foot building directly across the street from its current plant. The facility was owned by vinyl window fabricator Dove Industries Inc. and closed when Dove went out of business in August.

“We were looking to expand our business in the US and our facility here…was already full, so the timing was great,” said Martin Faye, director of U.S. manufacturing.

Phoenix — a manufacturer of thermoformed rigid packaging and subsidiary of Grupo Phoenix — opened an approximately 100,000 square-foot facility last year. The company immediately started building out the space and announced its plan for a $17.5 million, 100,000 square-foot warehouse expansion in April 2011.

The current 200,000 square-foot Dublin facility houses thermoforming and extrusion equipment, as well as shrink sleeving, decorating and printing operations.

Phoenix plans to move its decorating operations to the new building, which will clear up space to bring in new extrusion and thermoforming equipment, Faye said.

The company is experimenting with new barrier rollstock and monolayer structures, and with the new space is considering bringing in new materials, he said.

Phoenix will add 100 new jobs to the location. The facility currently has about 350 employees.

Since opening 2½ years ago, Phoenix has become the second largest employer in Pulaski County, Va., Faye said.

“We pride ourselves in quality, service and innovation,” he said about the company’s U.S. success. “We really don’t have a stock item in the U.S…every package we’re offering in the U.S. is unique to the end user.”

Phoenix received several incentives from the state, including a $250,000 grant and support for job recruitment and training.

If Phoenix’s growth continues at its current clip, the company does have the ability to continue expanding the Dublin plant – the main building could support another 100,000 square feet addition and there’s room to the double the size of the new building, Faye said.

Phoenix is also looking to expand its second U.S. plant in Chandler, Ariz., which serves customers located west of Mississippi, he said.

Grupo Phoenix, based in of Bogota, Colombia, has 10 locations throughout Latin America and the United States. The privately owned firm makes injected molded and thermoformed packaging, extruded barrier packaging, foil and rigid plastic lidding, and shrink sleeve film.