Huhtamaki Food Service Inc. will close its East Providence, R.I., food-packaging plant by October and move production to an expanded facility in Coleman, Mich., and to New Vienna, Ohio. The move will affect 190 employees.
Huhtamaki thermoforms and injection molds rigid packaging at the plant. The site's paper-packaging production was halted and relocated last year. The firm, whose parent is based in Finland, said it is streamlining operations in the United States and several other countries after a 1999-2000 acquisition spree.
Company spokesman Dan Grubbs confirmed a report that Huhtamaki is boosting capacity at Coleman to handle extra work from the Rhode Island shutdown. He did not confirm a Midland, Mich., Daily News story that said his company will spend at least $2 million on equipment in the Coleman expansion, which also will include a new building. The report claimed the project will create as many as 99 jobs in Coleman, where Huhtamaki employs 185.
Midland County and its economic development council will get a $750,000 federal grant to boost local electrical capacity with a new substation to handle the expanded operation's needs.