Ice River Springs Water Co. Inc. has chosen northwest Indiana for its third U.S. water-bottling plant.
The private Canadian firm will make its own bottles in Kentland, Ind., and fill them with purified local well water and spring water shipped in from nearby Attica.
Ice River will invest more than US$20 million to build and equip a 273,000-square-foot production and distribution center in Kentland's industrial park. The company will blow mold PET bottles when the facility opens in March and later will add capability to blow mold high density polyethylene containers. The facility initially will source injection molded preforms from its other plants, but eventually Ice River plans to install injection presses in Kentland.
Ice River now has a bottle and bottling plant in Morganton, N.C. Earlier this year it planned to set up a bottle and bottling operation in Pittsfield, Mass., but has since switched that project to Claremont, N.H., because power rates there are cheaper, said Ice River Senior Vice President Sandy Gott in a telephone interview. The Claremont plant is due to start up a month or two after the Kentland unit comes on stream and it too initially will focus on PET bottles.
The Kentland plant will be equipped with SIG blow molding machinery, while Claremont will rely on Sipa blow molding equipment. Ice River has relied on Husky injection presses.
Ice River runs bottle and bottling operations at its headquarters in Feversham, Ontario, and in Cranbrook, British Columbia. It claims to be Canada's largest privately owned water-bottling company. It supplies private-label bottled water to major retailers in North America.
``Currently we ship into the Chicago area from Ontario,'' Ice River President Jamie Gott said in a news release. ``The Kentland plant location will reduce freight cost, fuel consumption and emissions.''
Indiana Economic Development Corp. is offering Ice River up to $410,000 in tax credits and up to $36,000 in training grants. The town of Kentland will provide property tax abatement and will get state money to help with infrastructure improvements. Ice River expects to create as many as 100 jobs in the bottling plant.