The Kalama plant was built in 2007 and employs approximately 90 people. It produces primarily 750ml and 1.5l wine bottles and 22oz beer bottles.
Growing wine market on the west coast of the US
Andres Lopez, president/COO, glass containers, O-I, told FoodProductionDaily, the deal will help the company to serve the growing wine market on the west coast of the US and support its position in the craft beer market.
“We are pleased to welcome Bennu’s employees to O-I, and we look forward to integrating the plant into our existing operations,” he said.
“The acquisition will enhance the capacity and capability of our North American footprint.”
The Cameron family of Pennsylvania opened the Kalama plant in 2008. But its pioneering electric melter couldn’t reliably produce usable colored glass, and the plant was shut down in September 2009.
Bennu Glass purchased the plant for $64.8m
Bennu Glass purchased the plant for $64.8m at auction in March 2010 and spent $35m to get it running again. The biggest expense was a $13m furnace fueled by liquid oxygen and natural gas, which heats the glass batch to 2,700 degrees.
According to reports, Dwayne Wendler, a former O-I employee, who came out of retirement to manage the Bennu plant, will continue to run the factory under O-I ownership, renamed O-I Kalama.
O-I had revenues of $6.8bn in 2014 and employs approximately 21,100 people at 75 plants in 21 countries. Its global headquarters is in Perrysburg, Ohio, US.