Winpak Films Inc. is planning a multiphase expansion to its plant in Senoia, Ga., that could add 70 to its 140-employee workforce there and ultimately represent a $40 million investment.
Much of the monetary investment will buy new machinery that the company will use to make barrier shrink bags for food packaging.
Winpak Films President Kevin Byers identified the shrink bag market in a March 23 telephone interview as both large and ``narrowly serviced,'' making it ideal for Winpak to tackle. Winpak Films is a wholly owned subsidiary of Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Winpak Ltd., a publicly traded firm.
``This certainly would be a very significant increase in our overall capacity and expected sales,'' Byers said. ``The concentration of the spending will be on our manufacturing capability and equipment.''
The expansion stems from a licensing agreement Winpak entered in early 2005 to test-market shrink bags for meat and poultry. The technology was purchased from Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei Life & Living Corp. The bags use ethylene vinyl alcohol, polyethylene and polyvinylidene chloride layers.
Winpak is getting a $500,000 grant from the state of Georgia and a $500,000 low-interest loan made possible by Gov. Sonny Perdue's office, said Bill Harrison, executive director of the Coweta County Development Authority.
Winpak also is getting a 50 percent reduction in property tax for the facility, due to some industrial development revenue bond financing, Harrison said.
It wasn't easy persuading the top brass at Winpak's Canadian headquarters to invest in Georgia over Winnipeg, he said.
``We had to do everything we could to make the return on investment competitive for the location here,'' he said. ``Quite frankly, we would not have been able to do that if not for the help of the governor.''
Senoia is about 30 miles outside of Atlanta.
Winpak Ltd. reported $395.1 million in sales last year.