Rigid packaging producer Superfos A/S is expanding capacity in Eastern Europe to meet growing demand there, with the construction of a 184,000-square-foot injection molding plant in Poland.
The facility in Lubieen Kajawski, Poland, will start at the end of this year. It replaces a nearby plant in Fabianki. The plant, which will employ 150, will make large containers, according to the Vipperoed, Denmark-based molder.
The site will have as many as 45 injection presses to produce nonfood packaging for paint, oil and lubricants, building products, pet foods and detergents. The plant also will make large food-catering containers for such products as dressings, marinades and snacks, a Superfos spokeswoman said.
``Poland will function as Superfos' hub in the new [European Union] countries and Eastern Europe,'' the company said in a news release.
Meantime, Superfos' pharmaceutical packaging division, Superfos Pharma, is closing its small container plant in Sevenoaks, England, cutting 14 jobs. At 22,600 square feet, the injection and blow molding plant is too small to operate efficiently as a stand-alone site, the firm said.
When the British plant closes in late 2005, its work will transfer to a 119,000-square-foot plant in Haarby on Funen Island, Denmark, which opened in August.
The molder has faced a tough year, particularly in the first half, reporting a 30 percent hike in its raw material costs vs. the same period in 2004. But the company has seen improved sales in the United States, where Superfos operates a food-packaging facility in Cumberland, Md.
Even so, costs associated with closing the Sevenoaks facility are likely to strain Superfos' profit in the third quarter, according to Chief Executive Officer Kim Andersen.
Superfos operates 14 molding plants in Europe and one in the United States. The company employs 1,800 overall and generates annual sales of about 344 million euros ($409 million).