O-I to close US plant following ‘continued decline of beer’

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

O-I to close Atlanta, GA, plant. Photo: O-I.
O-I to close Atlanta, GA, plant. Photo: O-I.
Owens-Illinois (OI) says it has finalized plans to stop production at its Atlanta, GA, plant on or after July 18.

Approximately 250 employees will be offered the chance to work across other factories in the ‘O-I network’.

Domestic market

In a statement the company said it remains ‘strongly focused on optimizing the overall efficiency of, and investments in, its regional plant network’.

It claims the required capital outlay for the Atlanta operations and continued decline of beer in the domestic market influenced the decision to close the plant.

‘O-I's supply-demand profile in the US will be roughly balanced after this closure,’ it said.

The company said in the US, it continues to generate ‘solid, above-market volume growth’ in non-megabeer, in particular in spirits, wine, food and non-alcoholic beverages, due to enhanced commercial capabilities and conversion of manufacturing capacity in favor of non-beer products.

For example, it has seen continued success in growing premium categories, such as kombucha, yogurt and sauces.

BeverageDaily reported in February last year​ O-I closed a plant in Schiedam, The Netherlands, axing 230 jobs.

Champagne, Wine & Spirits

It said at the time the site was no longer profitable due to overcapacity in the glass market, relatively high production costs and outdated furnaces.

In 2017, O-I will invest €155m ($165m)  in its European facilities to strengthen competitiveness and modernize production and ensure the stable, agile network its customers require,​​” Vitaliano Torno, president, O-I Europe, said at the time.

The planned investments include the continued modernization of assets in Italy, France, Germany, UK, the Czech Republic and Poland across all of the company’s business segments​​.

O-I will also implement a Premium Program initially focused on France and on the Alloa plant in Scotland mainly dedicated to the Champagne, Wine and Spirits growing premium segments to develop customer cooperation, value creation, quality and production flexibility​​.”

O-I is one of the world's largest glass container manufacturers. It had revenues of $6.9bn in 2017 and employs more than 26,500 people at 78 plants in 23 countries.

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