Sonoco Products Co. plans to expand its Waynesville, N.C., thermoforming plant by investing $2.6 million to add a new production line and create 15 jobs.
The Haywood County Board of Commissioners held the first public reading of the proposal April 19 and is expected to approve tax incentives at its May 3 meeting. Then, negotiations will begin on an economic development plan.
As the proposal currently stands, Sonoco would receive a 58 percent rebate — more than $31,100 — of its estimated $53,700 tax burden over five years, Haywood County program administrator David Francis said at the hearing. The jobs Sonoco creates will pay an average annual wage of $36,666, plus benefits.
Plastics News ranks Sonoco Plastics as North America's third-largest thermoformer, with annual sales estimated at $600 million. It has six thermoforming plants in North America. Three plants — in Franklin Park, Ill.; Chillicothe, Mo.; and Waynesville — make trays from crystalline, amorphous and recycled PET, primarily for frozen foods, as well as blister packaging for retail, and medical/health care packaging for sterile barrier and nonsterile applications.
The company also has plants in Exeter, Calif.; Plant City, Fla.; and Wilson, N.C. The Exeter site makes packaging for fresh produce; the latter two serve the produce, dairy and foodservice markets.
The Waynesville plant also produces portion control cups, blow molded bottles and aseptically processed beverage containers. The plant employs 30 and provides a $7 million annual payroll and benefits.
The company closed a plant in Yakima, Wash., in December and converted a Guadalajara, Mexico, plant to a warehouse and distribution facility.
Sonoco Products Co., based in Hartsville, S.C., has annual sales of about $5.2 billion. With more than 320 operations in 34 countries, the company employs 20,000.