Continuing its all-out push into the PET container market, Ball Corp. of Muncie, Ind., announced Jan. 15 it will start operating a plant this summer in Reading, Pa. The plant, expected to employ about 40, will be the third PET container facility the company has set up in a year, since announcing it would enter that market. The first Ball PET blow molding facility opened this month in Chino, Calif., and a second PET facility, in Lysander, N.Y., will begin production this spring.
Traditionally a leader in the glass container industry, the firm plans to open five to six plants for PET molding during the next five years, said George Sissel, Ball's president and chief executive offficer.
Scott McCarty, a spokesman for the company, said the Reading facility will be located in an existing building and will be ``somewhat smaller'' than Chino and Lysander. He declined to disclose the sizes of the latter two plants.
McCarty said Jan. 15 that two of four blow molding lines at Chino are in operation, and that the Lysander plant will be roughly the same size.
``The Reading plant will be working in close association with the Lysander plant,'' he said. ``So it will be serving some of the same customers.''
Both the previous Ball plants were established to service long-term contracts with Pepsi-Cola Co. The California facility is producing bottles for Pepsi, and the Lysander plant produces bottles for the eastern region Pepsi bottlers' cooperatives. McCarty said the company had ``no new contract'' to announce in conjunction with the Reading plant.
``We're continuing to move forward with our expansion into the PET container business,'' Sissel said in a prepared statement. ``The PET container market is growing in double digits and with the new Reading plant, we will have three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to allow us to participate in that growth.''