Container maker Plastipak Packaging Inc. will open a new, supersized blow molding plant in Louisiana to make detergent bottles for Procter & Gamble Co., which is boosting its own operation in the same city.
Plastipak, based in Plymouth, Mich., will invest more than $45 million to open the facility in Pineville, La., according to an Aug. 12 news release. The company will make bottles for P&G's heavy-duty liquid detergent business, after signing a long-term agreement with the company to support P&G's Pineville plant.
Cincinnati-based P&G announced plans in December to expand that facility and increase production of liquid detergent. P&G is spending about $125 million to bulk up its plant, one of only two P&G facilities in the United States making the detergent products. P&G's expansion is due to be completed by the middle of 2005.
Plastipak will be finished with its new facility about a year before that. The company plans to install equipment and start running in the first quarter of next year, with full production scheduled to begin by midyear.
The Plastipak facility will total more than 500,000 square feet in its first phase, with a second phase of construction possible on the 62-acre site. The plant will start with 100 employees when it opens in 2004. The company did not disclose the number of blow molding machines.
The site will make containers from high density polyethylene for P&G's Fabric and Home Care Division. The division's brands include Tide, Cheer, Era and Gain detergents.
Plastipak will use its proprietary high-output extrusion blow molding system called G.E.M. Pak, which includes a gas clamping system, electronic controls and module mold process. It can be used for containers in a variety of sizes and configurations, according to company information.
The new plant will be Plastipak's 13th in North America and 15th worldwide. This year, the privately held company will convert more than 1 billion pounds of resin and record sales in excess of $900 million, said Plastipak spokesman Frank Zolenski.
A year ago Plastipak invested $30 million to open a 280,000-square-foot plant in McCalla, Ala., to make food and beverage containers. P&G was among the customers for that plant.