Polycarbonate water bottle maker Steel Valley Plastics Inc. is investing more than $1 million to build a 7,500-square-foot addition and add a second line to its Warren business.
``We feel confident that the market is growing and that is giving us the impetus to invest and expand our production,'' said President Paul Sherba.
The new line is expected to be running by mid-January. The addition will enlarge Steel Valley's building to 17,500 square feet.
The Warren City Council has agreed to give Steel Valley a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement on the improvements, which are in an enterprise zone. Once the new line opens the company will have 12-15 employees, Sherba said.
Steel Valley Plastics was started in January 2000 as a partnership among Sherba, Bob Woerner and Norm Anderson. Woerner, who has 30 years of blow molding experience, is vice president of manufacturing, while Anderson is vice president of sales.
The company is a subsidiary of Steel Valley Group. It was formed to supplement its sister company, Steel Valley Racks, which manufactures racking systems for 5-gallon containers.
``Our customers, small to midsize bottlers, were having difficulty buying 5-gallon water bottles, especially during peak season [March through September] and therefore we saw an opportunity,'' Sherba said.
Steel Valley Plastics produces 3- and 5-gallon bottles and is finding buyers nationally. The company does not release sales figures, but Sherba said he expects sales to double in the next three years.