YORK, PA. (Jan. 6, 12:10 p.m. ET) — Graham Packaging Co. LP of York, Pa., officially has closed a factory dedicated to preform production in Darlington, S.C.
According to the Darlington County Economic Partnership, Graham closed the facility at the end of December. It had operated the site since 1999, producing preforms for bottles used in brands such as Tropicana and Gatorade. About 20 employees were impacted.
In a Jan. 6 telephone interview, Darlington County Economic Partnership Director Robert Long said Graham had been affected when Wellman Inc. closed its adjacent facility in 2008. Graham sourced material from Wellman. Wellman's shuttering affected Graham's transportation costs for materials.
The factory is sized roughly 60,000 square feet with ceiling heights greater than 24 feet, Long said. Graham never employed more than 20 workers at the site. The company's plan is to absorb work in its other plants.
“Even during their heyday they never were at capacity,” Long said.
A call to Graham's headquarters in York, Pa., was not returned before deadline. Graham ranked second in Plastics News' 2011 listing of North American blow molders with $2.1 billion in blow molding sales and an estimated 75 plants in North America.