A Portola Packaging Inc. joint venture is outfitting a building in China and plans to begin producing closures there by March.
Portola of San Jose, Calif., and a local beverage packager formed the venture, Shanghai Portola Packaging Co. Ltd., in Xin Zhaung, a suburb of Shanghai.
Portola owns a majority in the venture, and the Chinese-government-owned packager has a minority.
``The plant will open with sufficient machinery to keep 50 [production and warehouse] people occupied over three shifts making caps,'' Mike Colozzi said in a telephone interview.
Colozzi is general manager of Portola's China operation and was the firm's director of international business development.
Plans call for shipping products from Xin Zhaung to customers in China and elsewhere in the Asian and Pacific markets.
The venture leased a new 30,000-square-foot metal building this summer and is completing infrastructure improvements and installing communications equipment and auxiliary systems such as chillers.
Manufacturing equipment, including several 300-ton injection molding machines, will be added beginning in December. Also, the venture has 10,000 square feet for offices.
Six technical and administrative workers from China will undergo training at Portola's San Jose plant beginning in mid-October, Colozzi said.
Colozzi and Freda Wang, Portola sales and marketing manager in San Jose, have conducted advance marketing in the highly competitive region. Portola has an established business base, having entered the market in 1993 with caps produced in the United States.
``We have been ramping up steadily through this year,'' Colozzi said, shipping caps from San Jose; New Castle, Pa.; and Fort Worth, Texas.
Portola has a total of 12 plants in North America and Europe. The firm makes and markets proprietary tamper-evident plastic closures, equipment and bottles for the bottled water, dairy, juice and food industries.