Tetra Pak Inc. will close its Aurora, Ontario, plant north of Toronto and move packaging production to a sister facility in Denton, Texas, in the first half of 1997. Aurora, established in 1985, makes a composite board that is converted to boxes for juices and milk. Company spokesman Jann Koel said the operation extrusion coats low density polyethylene for the inside, middle and outer layers of the composite. Paper and aluminum foil comprise the other layers. Occasionally it buys blown PE film from Tetra Pak in Europe to make a similar composite for tomato juice packaging.
About 180 manufacturing jobs will be lost as a result of the Aurora plant closing, Koel said.
Koel said Aurora has served Canadian markets and exported to Latin and Central America, Mexico and Japan.
Companies in offshore markets have been building their own production plants, leading to overcapacity at the Canadian operation. Tetra Pak will continue to supply Canada from Denton, which has capacity to make lower-cost, photo-printed packaging board as well as standard offset-printed board.
Tetra Pak probably will move Aurora's equipment to another market but Koel would not speculate where. The Denton plant has enough equipment to handle North American demand.
Koel said the Aurora closure won't affect Tetra Pak's all-plastic milk packaging test program under way in British Columbia. Dairyworld Foods of Vancouver, British Columbia, commercially introduced Tetra Pak's 4-liter, monolayer LDPE pouch in August.