Phoenix Packaging Group, a Bogota-based supplier of injection molded and thermoformed packaging in Latin America, will soon begin manufacturing in the U.S., with a plant and North American headquarters in Dublin, Va.
In a May 5 e-mail, Phoenix spokeswoman Ines Borda said the Virginia plant, which will operate as Phoenix Packaging Operations LLC, is 108,000 square feet with an option to increase to 300,000 square feet, and will create 240 jobs over three years.
The facility will extrude polystyrene and polypropylene sheet, and will thermoform and print rigid packaging for consumer products, she said.
Phoenix has been exporting packaging to the U.S. market for nine years. The volumes that we are processing have made it a logistics nightmare to be so far from our customers, Borda said. Phoenix sells high-end, specialty packaging and provides a very personalized service to very demanding customers. It will be much more efficient to work near our customers and to have our technical team in our fastest-growing market.
Phoenix has had a sales and distribution office in Hollywood, Fla., since 1999, when the parent company was established out of the integration of several packaging firms in Colombia and Venezuela. In 2003, Envases Cuautitlan of Querétaro, Mexico, joined the group.
The company has eight plants and employs 4,000. Borda said its 2009 sales were $350 million. According to a May 6 news release from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Phoenix's customers include coffee retailers Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. and Van Houtte Inc.; yogurt maker Agro-Farma Inc.; and food and personal-product companies General Mills Inc., Sturm Foods and Colgate-Palmolive Co.
According to the release, Gov. Bob McDonnell approved an $850,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Pulaski County, Va. where Dublin is located with the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. Phoenix is eligible to receive state rail-access funding and also is eligible to participate in the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program.
Phoenix chose Virginia to be the home of its U.S. operations after analyzing more than 40 possible locations in six states from the standpoint of geographical location, availability of qualified workforce, energy costs, and state and local incentives, among others, Alberto Peisach, president and CEO of Phoenix Packaging Operations, said in the release.
Phoenix analyzed over 15 potential acquisitions in the U.S. Although sometimes it takes a little more time and effort, given our in-house technology, Phoenix decided to set up a grass-roots installation, Borda said.
Phoenix's PS and PP products are aimed at markets including food, beverages, tableware, drinking water, personal hygiene, cosmetics and margarine. It also makes PS resins, in addition to PE shrinkable and biaxially oriented PP films, printed and lacquered aluminum foil lids, printed labels and collapsible aluminum tubes.
The company manufactures monolayer plastic sheets and rollstock in PP and PS, and multilayer coextruded rollstock for medium- and high-barrier applications with either ethylene vinyl alcohol or polyvinylidene chloride barrier polymers.
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