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 plant at the end of December, affecting about 20 employees. The site had operated since 1999, producing preforms for bottles used in brands like Tropicana and Gatorade.
Robert Long, Darlington County Economic Partnership director, said Graham had been affected when Wellman Inc. closed its adjacent facility in 2008. Graham sourced material from Wellman and the 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 in a Jan. 6 telephone interview. Graham never employed more than 20 workers at the site. The company's plan is to absorb work into its other plants.
“Even during their heyday, they never were at capacity,” he said.
A call to Graham's headquarters in York was not returned before deadline. For Plastics News' 2011 North American blow molders ranking, Graham reported $2.1 billion in blow molding sales, with an estimated 75 plants in North America.