Glass container manufacturer Owens-Illinois (O-I) has announced an investment of more than €50m to upgrade its Reims plant in Marne, France.
As part of the modernization, the O-I will add new high-tech equipement, provide new overall layout and additional technical innovations to optimize flexibility, capabilities and energy-efficiency.
O-I Group Southwest Europe country executive Francois Pierrot said: “This is a strategic investment to strengthen our position in the Champagne business. We will be able to serve our customers in the premium segment even better with improved flexibility at the plant and within O-I’s overall manufacturing network in France.”
The scope of the project includes complete renewal of one of the plant’s two furnaces, in addition to all-new industrial equipment on the attached production lines. O-I is planning to complete the upgrade by the middle of this year. The company will also recruit around 30 new employees at Reims facility to further advance its capabilities.
Once the upgrade completes, the Reims facility will hold capacity to manufacture bottles in three colors and full range from 0.2 l to Magnum-size. Reims plant already employees 200 people in various areas such as production, supply and procurement, and maintenance.
Reims facility, which is situated at the center of Champagne vineyard, also provides services to the premium wine customers located in the other regions of France such as Burgundy, Alsace and the Loire Valley.
O-I’s Reims plant manager Dallah Mekki said: “This €50 million project is a major long-term commitment to the Reims area. It represents one of the biggest investments in the region during the last few years, further bolstering O-I’s reputation as a strong player in the region and making the plant an even more attractive employer. In addition, the investment will increase the flexibility and logistics advantages we offer to our Champagne customers.”