Western Container Corp. is growing westward. The Houston blow molder began producing PET bottles at a leased, 200,000-square-foot facility in Rancho Cucamonga in May, according to the city's redevelopment manager, Linda Daniels.
The San Bernardino County Sun reported that Western Container will invest $20 million in new equipment for the plant. But Doug White, manufacturing director, said the plant is large enough to accommodate twice that capacity, according to the April 30 story.
Also this summer, the company will open another plant, in Benecia, Calif., according to the Sun.
Those sites bring the company closer to Coca-Cola Co. bottlers it supplies in that state, and in Washington, Oregon, Utah and Arizona.
Western Container will blow mold bottles in 1-, 11/2- and 2-liter sizes, as well as a 20-ounce, single-serve bottle in Coke's classic hourglass shape, according to the Sun.
Daniels said the Rancho Cucamonga plant initially will employ 70-75, eventually boosting that number to about 125 workers.
Last year, the company's blow molding sales were about $45 million, with employees numbering about 200 companywide, according to Plastics News and industry estimates.
The Sun reported that, according to White, Western Container produced 20 million PET containers in 1979; this year it expects to blow mold roughly 2 billion.
The firm moved into the Rancho Cucamonga building early this year, Daniels said.
``In this case, they approached us about an entirely different building,'' she said, but that facility had drainage control problems. ``This other opportunity came up. Everything went real quick,'' she said.
She described her agency's role as facilitator, expediting tenant improvements to the building, such as upgrading electricity for manufacturing needs, so Western Container could meet its schedule.
The firm did not receive any incentives from the city to locate in there, she said.