A MeadWestvaco Corp. business is investing $25 million to open a plant in Elizabethtown, Ky., to make packaging for digital versatile discs.
Between June and September, the firm's AGI Polymatrix unit intends to begin operating 11 production cells.
The equipment includes Netstal injection molding presses and GIMA SpA automation systems, said Leo Mulcahy, AGI Polymatrix vice president and general manager, via e-mail. Otto MÃ¤nner Vertriebs GmbH will supply the molds for the internally developed and patented polypropylene DVD packaging.
The Elizabethtown operation will occupy 198,000 square feet, run around the clock and, by year's end, employ about 100. A copper cable operation vacated the building last year.
Eventually, AGI Polymatrix plans to broaden the plant's range to include other media and nonmedia packaging products.
The Stamford, Conn.-based parent firm aggressively has acquired media packaging capabilities over three years.
Current AGI Polymatrix plastics processing occurs in three plants in Pittsfield, Mass., two in Corby, England, and one in Freden, Germany.
The Massachusetts plants are at capacity, Mulcahy said.
MeadWestvaco searched across several states in the region before selecting Elizabethtown on the basis of community infrastructure, business climate, work-force quality and state and local incentives, including $7 million in Kentucky income tax credits over 15 years. The new site in Kentucky provides good proximity to key customer locations.
``This is a home run'' for the community, Joe Prather, chairman and chief executive officer of the Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation, said in a news release.
MeadWestvaco had 2002 sales of $7.24 billion. Its consumer packaging group, which includes AGI Polymatrix, is a major supplier of packaging for media, entertainment, pharmaceutical, healthcare, cosmetics and other con- sumer applications.