O-I Glass plans Kentucky plant with eye on spirits sector

Glass News ,

Originally published in Resource Recycling.

O-I Glass will spend up to $240 million on a new glass plant in Bowling Green, Ky., the first to be built specifically for the company’s MAGMA technology.

“In line with strong consumer trends towards healthy, recyclable and sustainable food and beverage packaging, the company is adding capacity to support its customers with brand-building premium glass containers,” a press release stated.

A number of O-I’s other manufacturing sites serve as downstreams for recycled glass coming from municipal programs and other sources. The company did not disclose recycled glass plans for the Bowling Green plant but told Resource Recycling “there will be future communication about cullet and recycling.”

MAGMA, or Modular Advanced Glass Manufacturing Asset, uses a flexible, modular glass production to allow for rapid expansion in small increments.

The output of the new facility is earmarked for the premium spirits category, and the Kentucky location will be in proximity to “key customers in Bourbon country.”

The first phase of the new facility will be over 160,000 square feet, southcentralkentucky.com reported. The first production line is expected to start mid-year 2024, followed by up to two more production lines, the press release stated.

The investment will come in multiple expansion waves over time, according to the press release, and the new plant will use renewable electricity, gas-oxy fuel and other sustainability methods to “make glass an even more compelling choice for consumers, customers and the environment.”

Andres Lopez, CEO, said in a statement that “O-I is determined to be the most innovative, sustainable and chosen supplier of brand-building packaging solutions.”

“The new plant is an important milestone as we continue the pursuit of our expansion plan in the U.S. and globally, building a bright future for the company and its stakeholders,” Lopez said.