United Kingdom-based PET specialist APPE is moving sharply away from the insolvency of its parent company, investing more than 10 million pounds ($15.2 million) in production improvements at its Gresford, England, preform plant as it prepares for a new owner.
The expansion will include five state-of-the-art injection molding machines from Husky along with the “latest generation” silos, resin drying systems and water chilling systems, the company announced in a May 27 news release.
The additions will boost overall capacity to 8 billion units per year — up 1.5 billion units annually or an average of 22 million each day.
APPE is owned by the insolvent La Seda de Barcelona SA in Spain, but Plastipak Packaging Inc., a subsidiary of Plymouth, Mich.-based plastic containers maker Plastipak Holdings Inc., was the successful bidder for the APPE assets and expects to close this summer on a $300 million-plus purchase of the holdings.
“APPE has successfully renewed existing contracts and also won new business despite our parent company entering voluntary insolvency in 2013,” said George Hendry, APPE's U.K. commercial director. “The company has worked very closely with our customers throughout this period to retain our position as Europe's premiere PET preform and container designer and manufacturer.”
The company said Gresford is the largest preform manufacturing plant in Europe. It has been making PET performs for nearly 30 years.
Both Husky and Piovan are suppliers in the expansion project.