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‘Sizeable’ investment to secure bottle plant jobs

Owens-Illinois: 'Sizeable' investment. Picture: Getty

Owens-Illinois: 'Sizeable' investment. Picture: Getty

  • by SCOTT REID
 

A MAJOR investment in a glass bottle manufacturing facility based in Clackmannanshire is expected to be unveiled this week, safeguarding hundreds of jobs.

Company officials from US-based Owens-Illinois are set to unveil the “sizeable” investment in the Alloa plant at an event attended by senior politicians and local councillors.

The facility is one of 77 operated across 21 countries by the Ohio-based group, which had global revenues of about $7 billion (£4.2bn) last year.

It is understood that the financing at Alloa will form part of a pan-European investment programme by the company amounting to €280 million (£232m).

Full details are due to be revealed on Tuesday though the investment has been secured with assistance from Scottish Enterprise via a regional selective assistance grant.

Almost 600 people are employed at the Glasshouse Loan plant in Alloa processing millions of bottles each year for major drinks makers. It is one of the largest private sector employers in the area.

The factory was dealt a blow last year when a contract to supply bottles for Diageo’s whisky brand Johnnie Walker ended.

The drinks group said the decision to change supplier was to ensure the firm’s “long-term sustainability”.

At the time, Owens-Illinois stressed it was committed to keeping the operation running as normal.

A spokesman said: “The ­ Alloa facility is uniquely positioning to serve the important Scottish spirits market. It is located in the heart of the Scottish distillery world allowing our customers to fill Scottish whisky in Scottish bottles.

“There are many opportunities for Alloa to produce glass packaging for different Scottish spirits, soft drinks, water and beer brands.”

The company, which employs 22,500 people worldwide, has undertaken major investment in the plant in recent years – £9m in 2010, including £1.3m from the Scottish Government, to boost capacity.

 

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