Graham Packaging Co. LP of York, Pa., and food-service dairy products producer Gehl's Guernsey Farm Inc. of Germantown, Wis., are joining to open a blow molding plant in West Bend, Wis., in 2007.
Construction will begin this fall on the facility, which will be slightly larger than 250,000 square feet.
Gehl's will own the property and the facility and Graham will operate the plant, said officials from Gehl's and the Department of Community Development in West Bend.
In its first phase, the plant will hold one blow molding machine capable of producing 100 million bottles per year, Gehl's Chief Executive Officer John Gehl said in an Aug. 23 telephone interview. The plant will be able to accommodate six machines.
The bottles will be used in diet and health beverages like Slim-Fast, he said, supporting the demand for plastic bottles where cans had been the norm.
``I think in the country there is a move away from carbonated beverages,'' Gehl said. ``I think plastic bottles are much more desirable to the consumer.''
His company already handled form-fill-seal functions in its Germantown plant for products like pudding cups. During the past year, it built a 300,000-square-foot warehouse to free up space in its Germantown plant for filling equipment. It is working with KlÃ¶ckner KHS Inc. in Dortmund, Germany, for that filling equipment.
Graham Packaging declined any comment on the project.
``Graham Packaging does not comment on planned or pending projects before they are ready to be announced,'' Graham spokesman Don Sarvey said in an Aug. 23 e-mail response to questions.