Graham Packaging Co. is considering Evansville, Ind., and Owensboro, Ky., as potential locations for a proposed 147,000-square-foot blow molding plant.
The $26 million project is one of a number of projects made possible by the recent $50 million in equity funding Graham received from majority owners Blackstone Capital Partners III Merchant Banking Fund LP, according to Graham spokesman Donald Sarvey.
Lured by tax incentives, stable energy costs and an ideal Midwest location, York, Pa.-based Graham is expected to make a decision by the middle of next week, Sarvey said.
The Vanderburgh County Council in Indiana recently approved a 10-year tax abatement and other incentives for Graham to locate in Evansville. The county commissioner also agreed to pay about $300,000, and the state offered $500,000 for a railroad spur at the site if Graham chooses Evansville.
Credit for these incentives has been given to local economic development group Vision 2000, according to local news reports. The group has been trying to lure Graham to Evansville for more than a year.
While both locations are appealing for Graham's purposes of serving a larger middle U.S. territory, Sarvey said Graham found that Evansville's pool of plastics-savvy workers gives the town an edge.
The plant would employ about 69. Sarvey said Graham is considering leasing a facility proposed to be constructed by an Evansville development company. If Graham does locate there, construction should be complete by the beginning of next year.
Sarvey said $22 million in blow molding equipment would be installed by the time construction is finished, and the plant should be operational by the second quarter of next year.
The spokesman declined to disclose the number of lines the company will install, the customer or market served, or sales projections for the new facility.