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Packaging molder Airlite starts $57.8 million expansion

By: Michael Lauzon

December 20, 2012

OMAHA, NEB. (Dec. 20, 12:40 p.m. ET) — Packaging injection molder Airlite Plastics Co. has begun a $57.8 million expansion in Omaha.

A local news report stated Airlite will add 43,000 square feet to its 500,000-square-foot operation in Omaha by next summer. The investment includes 20 additional production lines, The Omaha World-Herald reported Dec. 17.

The article said Omaha-based Airlite makes 1.5 billion molded containers per year for dairy, salad and margarine packaging and it uses 60 million pounds of resin annually. The company also decorates containers and makes expanded polystyrene foam.

The report said the expansion will occur in a high-unemployment area of Omaha and that 117 jobs will be added over several years.

The Omaha Planning Board approved $1.6 million in tax-increment financing but the plan still needs Omaha City Council approval, according to the article.

Planning board members declined to provide information to Plastics News and Airlite officials could not be reached for comment.

In April, Airlite expanded into Nazareth, Pa., when it bought S&L Plastics Inc., a stock and custom injection molder and tubing and profile extruder. At the time, Airlite President and CEO Brad Crosby said Airlite ran 70 injection presses in Omaha and had 800 employees there. S&L had 13 injection presses and 45 employees.

Plastics News estimates Airlite’s injection molding sales were about $100 million in 2011.