BALTIMORE — PET bottle and preform manufacturer CNC Container Corp. plans to put a plant in Asia and could build another West Coast plant in the next year.
The new facilities are part of a $20 million capital campaign for 1998 by the rapidly growing company, which has spent $40 million in the past year and now has four plants on the West Coast.
The Asia venture, which will be with a local partner, is ``much more certain than the additional West Coast plant,'' said President Mel White. He spoke Nov. 13 in an interview at the International Bottled Water Association trade show in Baltimore.
The Tumwater, Wash.-based company also is considering a sixth West Coast plant in 1999, White said.
Company officials would not identify possible locations of the plants.
The Asia plant will be smaller than the recent West Coast plants, which are 130,000-160,000 square feet, and it will do either injection molding or blow molding, White said. The company's three plants built in the past year are all exclusively blow molding.
The growth is part of continued shake-ups in the West Coast bottle-making market, as new companies like CNC have added market share and some older players have suffered.
Philadelphia-based Crown Cork & Seal Co. Inc., for example, has closed four plants since August — in Leominster, Mass.; New Stanton, Pa.; Greenville, S.C.; and City of Industry, Calif. The company has moved equipment from those plants to other, larger plants, according to a Crown Cork official.
Likewise, Schmalbach-Lubeca Plastic Containers U.S.A. Inc. closed a plant in Milpitas, Calif., in May, according to a company official. White said CNC has taken business from Schmalbach-Lubeca.
CNC now has a total of 30 blow molding machines throughout its four factories. About 30 percent of the firm's annual sales are to the water market, while 60 percent are to the carbonated soft drink market and 10 percent to other products.
CNC Container ranks 22nd in Plastics News' survey of North American blow molders, with 1996 sales of $80 million. The firm's 1997 sales should be about $100 million, White said.