Charter Next Generation Inc.'s planned major expansion project will allow the firm to build on an already strong foundation in Wisconsin.
"If you look at our footprint, our center of gravity is Wisconsin and Ohio," Apurva Shah, strategic initiatives and partnerships director, said in an interview with Plastics News. "There's value in expanding where our brand is known and where our work force understands what we want to do."
The $270 million expansion in Milton will create more than 340 jobs in the next eight years. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is providing up to $5.6 million in performance-based tax credits for the expansion.
The city of Milton is supporting the project with a tax deal that will provide up to $1.6 million over a 10-year period. The city also will be undertaking several infrastructure projects to advance construction of the new facility.
The expansion will include a new plant making blown film and cast film, much of which will be used in food packaging, Shah said. Land preparation and infrastructure work at the site already has begun, he added, with construction expected to start late this year or in early 2024.
In a statement to PN, CEO Kathy Bolhous said that the new site "will be a world-class operation, driven by our employee-ownership culture and will serve an important role in sustainable materials development."
"We are ecstatic to build on our roots here during the company's next phase of growth," she added.
Like many plastics firms, CNG is seeing a lot of interest from its customers in sustainable products, including "alternate material" films that are bio-based or biocompostable, Shaw said.
He added that the firm also can make films with high content of food-grade post-consumer resins, primarily based on high, low or linear low density polyethylene.
"We're a poster child for sustainable opportunities," Shah said. "We make a full gamut of sustainable films and are looking to make more."
Chicago-based CNG is North America's eighth-largest film and sheet maker, with annual sales estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Plastics News data. The firm was formed in 2019 from the merger of Charter NEX Films Inc. and Next Generation Films Inc.