Continental PET Technologies Inc. will build a $4.4 million stretch blow molding plant in Poinciana, Fla., which is near Kissimmee, Fla., local officials said Aug. 2. The facility will be a half-mile from its customer, Quaker Oats Co., whose Poinciana plant bottles all the Gatorade for the Florida market, said John Krug, Osceola County coordinator for the Mid-Florida Economic Development Commission.
Krug said Continental PET initially will import preforms for blow molding, but will aim for the full bottle production process ``if they are successful in the Florida market.''
Gerard Kerins, Continental PET president, declined to reveal how many blow molding lines will be placed in the new plant, or the planned production capacity.
Kerins, in a telephone interview from the firm's Florence, Ky., headquarters, confirmed preforms will be brought in from another Continental PET plant, although he declined to name which one. Continental's closest facility is an 18-month-old, 120,000-square-foot facility in Cartersville, Ga., 40 miles north of Atlanta.
Florida ``is not the biggest market in the world, but it is an important one,'' Kerins said. ``A lot of people end up shipping to Florida. We feel we needed to be there.''
Gregg Tanner, vice president of the supply chain for Quaker Oats in Chicago, said Continental PET will supply 32- and 64-ounce PET bottles for Gatorade and 32-ounce bottles for Snapple beverages.
Continental PET is a subsidiary of BTR Nylex Ltd. of Melbourne, Australia. The firm has eight operating plants in North America, including Pachuca, Mexico. It also is building a plant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has three plants in Europe.
Krug said Continental PET initially will employ 36 and provide annual property taxes of $14,000. Later expansions to the 66,250-square-foot plant could boost employment to 120, Krug said.
The county provided a five-year, $70,000 tax abatement for ``transportation impact fees'' to Continental PET.
``Were the incentives influential in getting Continental to locate here? Probably not in this case, since they are so close to their customer,'' Krug said.
Another plastics processor is in the same industrial park where Continental will locate.
Lerio Corp., an extrusion blow molder, specializes in high density polyethylene flowerpots, according to general manager Michael Robson.
Krug predicted a groundbreaking ceremony after Labor Day.