The new facility will be among the highest output glass container plants in the United States producing over one billion bottles annually.Serving as the primary supplier to the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fort Collins, Colo., the plant will employ about 150 people when it opens in the summer of 2005. It is the company's first new facility in the U.S. since 1980 and the industry's first new glass manufacturing plant since 1982.
"This week's ground-breaking represents the economic growth that is taking place throughout the United States," said U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans. "We commend you on the construction of your new facility that will manufacture goods made by hard-working Americans, which will then be exported around the globe."
"The creation of the Owens-Illinois facility is symbolic of the growth we've recently witnessed in our economy, specifically in the manufacturing sector," said Colo. Governor Bill Owens. "We are thrilled to have Owens-Illinois and the state of Colorado pave the way for future growth and a hope for a sustained turnaround in the job market."
The new Owens-Illinois facility is a significant economic investment to Colorado's economy. Over a ten-year period the plant expects to bring $461 million to the state of Colorado and will generate more than $159 million in Weld County alone.
"The ground breaking of this new plant marks a pivotal time for Owens-Illinois because it reinforces our strength and vitality in the marketplace as we transform ourselves to a more customer-centric global enterprise," said Steve McCracken, Owens-Illinois chairman and chief executive officer.
McCracken, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and other state, regional and local dignitaries will address the public during the ceremony that begins at 11 a.m. MT. An unveiling of the architects' rendering of the new plant, as well as a ceremonial tree planting, also will occur.
"O-I's new high-productivity facility will provide substantial economic benefits to the area, especially to new and existing businesses that will support the plant's operations and will further allow consumers to enjoy the great taste of food and beverages that glass enables," continued McCracken.
O-I first announced plans for a new plant in February 2003. The Weld County site, located about 60 miles north of Denver, was chosen in September 2003 after evaluating several locations in Northeast Colorado and Southeast Wyoming. The site was ultimately selected for its location to O-I's existing customer base, as well as its accessibility to natural gas, electricity, and transportation.