Sonoco Products Co. Ltd. will close a flexible packaging plant in Richmond, British Columbia, and merge that operation with another Canadian location.
The company, in the midst of a restructuring that started in 2003, will shut the Richmond facility by the end of March and transfer work to its film and bag- making plant in Mississauga, Ontario, according to a Sonoco news release. About 67 employees will be affected by the closing, the company said.
The Richmond plant makes printed film and bags for the coffee, confectionery and snack-food market. The facility went through a downsizing in 2001, when it stopped making low density polyethylene T-shirt bags. The plant's production equipment for that product line was sold to PCL Packaging Corp. of Oakville, Ontario.
Sonoco, based in Hartsville, bought the plant in 1999 when it acquired Graphic Packaging Corp.'s flexible packaging division.
Sonoco has three other flexible packaging plants in Canada and six in the United States, according to its Web site. Officials were out of the office and unavailable for comment before deadline.
The company said in mid-2003 that it would close 15-20 plants, saving Sonoco as much as $60 million.
``The Richmond plant's location, narrow web printing presses and existing extrusion capability are not a cost-effective long-term strategic fit for Sonoco's flexible packaging operations,'' Thomas Coker, vice president and general manager of Sonoco's flexible packaging division, said in a news release.