CHINO, CALIF.-Ball Corp., one of the largest makers of packaging in North America, has chosen Chino as the site for its first PET bottle production plant. The selection capped a two-month search in which the company assessed sites in Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, said Scott McCarty, spokesman for the Muncie, Ind., firm.
``The building is new, and we will be leasing it,'' McCarty said. ``I can't tell you its size, but I can say that initially we will be using only a portion of it, with plans to expand into the whole building.''
He also declined to say how many bottle lines will be installed at the plant, which will be in operation by the end of this year with about 100 employees.
Fueling Ball's first-ever venture into the PET bottle market is a long-term contract with Pepsi-Cola Co. that calls for Ball to make bottles for Pepsi's California business unit. Ball is scheduled to deliver its first bottles to Pepsi in January 1996.
Ball announced the contract in April, after declaring its desire to enter the PET bottle market in late 1994. In March, the company established its plastic container division to administer PET operations in Atlanta.
McCarty said the Chino site was chosen because it is close to railroad lines and major highways to facilitate shipping, and for its position at the center of the bottle-making industry on the West Coast. Several other large producers also have bottle plants in Southern California.
Ball reported sales in 1994 of $2.6 billion, primarily in glass and metal packaging for food and beverages, aerospace and communications applications.