W.R. Grace & Co. will spend $200 million to add capacity and increase production efficiency at its Cryovac film plants in the United States and Canada during the next three years. The moves are part of a worldwide global expansion for its packaging business, totaling $300 million.
Chuck Jolley, a spokesman for Cryovac, based in Duncan, S.C., said he could not disclose exact details on the expansions, but that they included installation of state-of-the-art production equipment in Simpsonville and Seneca, S.C.; Iowa Park, Texas; and Mississauga, Ontario. The installations at those plants also will include new printing presses to handle expanded requirements for nutritional labeling.
About $100 million of the investment will be used to boost bag production in Simpsonville, Iowa Park and Mississauga, because of what the company called a sharp increase in the demand for Cryovac's TBG-brand bag.
The bag, introduced last year, is made through a proprietary coextrusion process, and is used to package fresh and prepared meats and natural cheese.
Jolley said about $30 million will be used to boost production of flexible films at Seneca and Iowa Park, driven partially by an increase in the popularity of fresh-cut produce packaging.
The balance of the $200 million will be used to boost production of laminated films at the Simpsonville facility. Those films are used to package deli cheeses and prepared meat.
Cryovac was the seventh-largest producer of film and sheet in Plastics News' 1994 North American ranking, with estimated sales of $412 million. Worldwide, Cryovac's 1994 sales were about $1.5 billion, Jolley said.
W.R. Grace, based in Boca Raton, Fla., will spend an additional $100 million for similar improvements during the three-year period to packaging plants in SÃo Paolo, Brazil; Quilmes, Argentina; Melbourne, Australia; and Kuantan, Malaysia.
The company spent about $70 million to expand production last year at its plants in Seneca and in Europe, but the $300 million represents the largest investment ever in its packaging businesses.
In the past year Cryovac also acquired Schur Multiflex GmbH of Flensburg, Germany, a producer of laminated films, and began a new plant in Malaysia and a joint venture in Russia to produce meat and cheese packaging.